Monday, September 26

Common Garden Pests and How to Control Them

Did you know that pests has caused around $220 billion of losses each year?

Manmade chemicals are the first line of defense, but you are better off taking a second line of defense and going organic.

Pests such as ants, cockroaches, rats, pigeons, and raccoons can be super annoying. Worse than that, they also have a knack for being spreaders of some pretty terrible diseases.

With this in mind, let’s get down to business and look at some of the more common garden pests.

Aphids

Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that can be various colors, including green, black, brown, or yellow. They feed on the sap of plants, which can cause the plants to become stunted or deformed. Aphids can also spread diseases from one plant to another.

You can control aphids by hosing them off with water, wiping them off with a damp cloth, or using a chemical insecticide. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can hire a pro pest control service to do the job. You can also attract predators, such as ladybugs, that will help to control the aphid population.

Cabbage Worm

Cabbage worms are the larvae of the Cabbage white butterfly and are a common garden pest. They are voracious eaters and can quickly decimate a crop of cabbage, kale, or collards.

Hand-picking is the best method of control, but if the infestation is heavy, you may need to use an insecticide. Bacillus thuringiensis is a biological insecticide that is effective against cabbage worms. You can also cover your plants with a floating row cover to prevent the butterflies from laying their eggs on the plants.

Earwigs

Earwigs are common garden pests and can be difficult to control. They thrive in moist conditions and are mostly near water sources. Earwigs feed on a variety of plants and can cause damage to both leaves and fruits.

The best way to control earwigs is to remove their food sources and make sure their habitat is not too moist. This can be done by regular pruning of plants and making sure there is good drainage in the garden. Insecticidal sprays can also be used to kill earwigs, but only as a last resort.

Snails and Slugs

There are few creatures more reviled by gardeners than snails and slugs. These slimy pests can decimate a crop in a single night, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to control these pests. The most common method is to scatter bait around the garden. This bait, usually made of iron phosphate, will kill snails and slugs when they ingest it.

Another method is to create a barrier around the garden. This can be done by spreading a thin layer of diatomaceous earth around the perimeter. This powder will cut into the soft bodies of snails and slugs, killing them.

Finally, traps can be used to capture these creatures. Baited with lettuce or other leafy greens, these traps will lure snails and slugs inside, where they will be unable to escape.

Control Those Common Garden Pests

Common garden pests can be a gardener’s worst nightmare. But knowing how to identify and control them is the first step to garden care.

Be sure to check your plants regularly for pests, and take action to control them as soon as you see them. With a little knowledge and effort, you can keep your garden pest-free.

Would you like more tips about garden maintenance? Check out more articles in our blog.