Pest In The Garden
Every garden owner yearns for a healthy and productive garden. This is easy to achieve if you take care of the garden, eliminating weeds, and any potential threats. Pests and insects are among the creatures that can make your garden either look good or not. We have useful insects like the ladybug, spiders, ground beetles, damsel bugs, and praying mantis, which are valuable in the garden. The insects help in pest control. Different pests cause different damages. To know that pests have invaded your garden, you will either see the pest itself or notice the destruction it has caused.
Types of Pests Found in The Garden
Slugs and snails
Slugs and snails camp in damp and shady spots in the garden. They also thrive along with foundations and under rocks. Slugs and snails feed on both living plants and rotting plant material. Slugs and snails ruin leafy vegetables, ripening produce, and seedlings. They cause damage by creating big holes in plants. Natural insect spray and scattered eggshells are some of the most recommended ways of eliminating slugs and snails. The garden pests do not like eggshells as they are sharp and make movement for them almost impossible. Encourage natural predators by having a birdbath somewhere in the garden to get rid of the pests.
Red Spider Mites
The small mites live under leaves. They suck sap and cause yellow mottling. Red spider mites mostly affect azaleas and camellias. You will notice the pests everywhere on the plant and around the garden once the infestation happens. You may spot fine webs, tiny spots on the plants, and stippling on leaves. The spider mites cause damage by penetrating plant cells to feed. Get rid of the pests by raising humidity and using biological control under glass. You can also use organic sprays on the plants.
Caterpillars cause harm to the plants by chewing on leaves and around the edges. The soft, segmented pests burrow into fruits. Caterpillars are mostly found in fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and shade trees. Moth caterpillars are the most common caterpillar pests. Caterpillars infect a garden after a moth lays eggs on the plants. Manage the caterpillars by putting bird feeders to attract birds that eat caterpillars to your garden. Get rid of the caterpillars by allowing native predators and parasites to roam your yard. You should also hand pick your harvest and apply floating row covers.
Aphids are small pear-shaped critters with long antennae and two tubes showing to the rear from their abdomen. Aphids invade fruits, flowers, ornamentals, vegetables, and shade trees, among other plants. The soft-bodied pests suck plant sap causing plants to disfigure. One way of controlling the insects is by dusting plants with flour. The insects get constipated by the flour. Other methods of eliminating aphids include washing the plants with strong sprays of water, allowing insects and parasites like aphid midges and lady beetles in the garden. Extreme aphids invasion calls for application of horticultural oil, neem oil, and insecticidal soaps.
Not many believe that birds can be pests as they appear to be useful in the garden. Birds can, however, cause massive harm if not controlled. Blackbirds, crows, and robins can be a total nuisance on your garden. The birds feed on ripening fruits and vegetables and pluck seeds out of the ground. Pigeons especially love snacking on the leaves of plants like cabbages, cauliflower, sprouts, and broccoli. To deter the birds, place a scarecrow in the garden. Install animal decoys that are bird predators around the garden. You can use decoys of swans, owls, snakes, and coyotes. You can also use your dog to scare them.
As a gardener, you should be familiar with simple ways of controlling garden pests. Use of natural pesticides is recommendable if the pesticides you are using do not have toxic elements that can cause farther damage to your plants. Neem oil spray, soap spray insecticides, garlic insecticide spray, Diatomaceous Earth and tomato leaf are some of the eco-friendly, natural and homemade pesticides. You are not guaranteed an insect-free garden at all times, no matter how conscious you are. You can, however, control the pests in the garden by giving your plants room to breathe, watering your garden every morning, attracting beneficial animals like toads and birds, and cleaning fruits which fall o the ground. Generally, avoid conditions that draw pests to your garden, and you will be okay.