Gardening – one of the most interesting hobbies that a person can acquire. After all, how can it not be? You get to create your dream green space, grow your own vegetables and herbs, and help Mother Nature by providing helpful insects, such as bees, a good home. However, having a garden is not all fun and games – if you want to keep your green space in shape, you have to invest a lot of time and energy into maintaining it, which also includes proper pest control.

With that in mind, in this article, we are going to discuss the 9 most common garden pests you’ll have the “pleasure” to deal with this summer.

Here you’ll find information on:

  • what the pests look like;
  • why do these insects attack your garden;
  • how to deal with the nasty buggers, without damaging your green space.
Table of Contents:

Aphids

Aphids are really, really, really, tiny sap-consuming bugs that mainly attack plants that have been either overwatered or underwatered. They can be green in colour, black, white, and even red. Generally appearing in colonies, aphids are very easy to spot on a plant.

Pest control tips:
If you see that one of your plant babies has fallen under the attack of a nasty aphid army, don’t worry – the solution to this problem is very simple – just spray the plant with water. If you do this on the daily, after time you’ll see fewer and fewer signs of the annoying critters.

Caterpillars

Ah, caterpillars, while cute, these little buggers can destroy your entire vegetable garden in the blink of an eye. Basically, what they do is eat through the plant’s leaves, leaving tiny holes behind, which, needless to say, isn’t very good for your green friends.

Pest control tips:
The best tip that we can give you is to take preventative measures. If you don’t have caterpillars in your green space right now, invest in floating row covers, so you can eliminate potential infestations. This garden invention keeps all kinds of garden pests out, including caterpillars, while your plant babies still get the water and sun they need. If your green space has been infested by a caterpillar family, your only option is hand-pick the insects and to kill them.

Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers. A.k.a – the garden plague. These tiny bright green or brown jumping bugs are the nightmare of every gardener. Why? Well, a grasshopper infestation isn’t a problem that you can resolve once and for all. You see, this type of garden pest is constantly on the move and searching for food, which means that your garden is always at risk. “Amazing”.

Pest control tips:
As we mentioned earlier, you can’t exactly end a grasshopper infestation. However, what you can do is take some prevention steps. For example, you can invest in a row cover to keep the jumpers away, keep your grass taller around your vegetable crops, or, if you already have an infestation – to hand-pick them in the morning, when they are less active and easier to manually remove.

Slugs and snails

While somewhat cute, snails and slugs are the types of garden pests that can be the death of your green space. Similarly to other vermin, snails and slugs leave tiny holes behind, damaging the plant. Seedlings are most commonly attacked by these types of pests, so you really do need to keep a close eye on your garden, otherwise, you can forget about fresh vegetables this summer.

Pest control tips:
A good preventative measure is to transplant your seedlings to keep them safe. If this isn’t a good option for you, you can also set slug fruit traps and eggshell barriers, or hand-pick the already existing ones in the evening.

Cutworms

Basically, cutworms are moth larva. We can say that they are nocturnal eaters because they like to hide during the daytime and munch on plants by night. Again, they are easy to spot as they are quite big bugs – cutworms can grow up to 4 centimetres in size, and come in a range of pink and grey colours. As the name suggests, this type of garden pest can “cut” a plant by eating through its stem. Unlike other pests, cutworms don’t focus on one part of the plant – they can attack the leaves, stem, petals, etc.

Pest control tips:
A good cutworm control technique is to sprinkle ground-up coffee in your garden or to make circles from diatomaceous earth around your seedling. Both solutions will kill any cutworm that tries to attack your garden. If you are currently suffering from a cutworm infestation, your best option is to remove them by hand.

Earwigs

Earwigs – not only do they look disgusting, but they can also cause very serious damage to your garden. These dark brown insects like to feed during the night, but are attracted to the light, which means that if you flash your garden with a light, you’ll find them very easily.

Pest control tips:
To keep earwigs out of your green space, remove any debris from your garden on a regular basis. This sort of pest likes to hide in dark and moist spots and a pile of leaves is exactly that. You can also combine clearing your garden of the little critters with the diatomaceous earth method we mentioned earlier.

Mexican Bean Beetles

If you spot a bunch of ladybugs in your garden, look closely as they might not be actually ladybugs, but Mexican bean beetles. As you can already guess by the name of the pest, these types of small, red beetles like to feast on bean plants. The damage they cause can be quite serious, so if you find tiny bugs with 12 black dots on their back sitting on a plant, take immediate measures.

Pest control tips:
A natural pest control way to prevent Mexican bean beetles from infesting your garden is to plant specific types of flowers and herbs such as rosemary and marigolds. Like with the other common garden pests we have listed, you can also remove the beetles manually.

Potato Beetles

Potato beetles, also known as Colorado beetles, are striped, brownish insects that like to specifically munch on tomatoes, peppers and eggplants, and, of course – potatoes. Both adult beetles and their babies are fully capable of destroying an entire garden if they have the chance to do so, so proper pest control measures are crucial.

Pest control tips:
The easiest way to get rid of potato beetles is to pour soapy water on top of the infested plants. Don’t worry – if you use a mild soap, you won’t damage your crops in any way. You can back up this method by spraying them with a DIY neem seed solution. Here you can find the recipe for the spray and also how and when to apply it.

Flea Beetles

Flea beetles happen to be another type of vegetable-loving pests. They like to snack on tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, lettuce, corn, and cabbages, attacking the crops’ roots, germinating seeds, and also the plant’s leaves. The bugs are dark in colour, tiny, yet visible, and as the name suggests – are capable of jumping like fleas, thanks to their strong back legs.

Pest control tips:
Again, your best options are to use row covers or to disperse some diatomaceous earth near the crops or maybe even try both methods at the same time.

Need help around your garden?

Sometimes garden work can be A LOT and no matter how much we want to mow the lawn or prune that fruit tree, we just don’t have the time to do it. This is where our gardening solutions come in. Fantastic Services offers a range of garden and outdoor space maintenance services that can and will make life a little bit easier for you. From hedge trimming and lawn mowing to tree pruning and garden clearance – the amazing gardening specialists we work with can do it all. So, why don’t you give your green space the love it deserves by calling Fantastic Services today?

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Takeaways

  • It’s always better to go the eco-friendly route when it comes to pest control. Some types of chemical pesticides will do more harm to your garden than help.
  • You need to be 100% sure about the type of vermin you are dealing with, so you can take proper pest control actions.
  • Most sorts of garden pests you can pick and remove by hand. While not very enjoyable and practical, this method happens to be very effective.

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Image source: Shutterstock/Kosobu

Posted in Garden Advice, Insect Infestations, Pest Problems

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