Identify Garden Pests and Tips for Controlling Damage

Slug damage on hosta
Above: slug feeding on hosta

Types of Pests and Methods to Prevent Damage


Insect Pests: 

Aphids: These tiny, sap-sucking insects can be found on a variety of plants, including roses, tomatoes, and beans. They often cluster on new growth and can cause leaves to curl and yellow. 

Caterpillars: Tomato hornworms and cabbage loopers are common caterpillars that munch on vegetable leaves. Look out for holes in leaves and droppings around the plants. 

Japanese Beetles: These shiny green and copper-colored beetles love to feast on roses and ornamental plants. They skeletonize leaves, leaving only the veins. 

Whiteflies: These tiny white insects fly up in clouds when plants are disturbed. They suck plant sap, causing yellowing and weakening of plants like tomatoes and peppers. 


Aphids Whiteflies and Thrips as Common Garden Pests
Mammal Pests: 

Deer: Deer love munching on hostas, tulips, and vegetable gardens. They can cause significant damage overnight by eating leaves and fruits. 

Rabbits: These furry critters nibble on a wide range of plants, including flowers and leafy vegetables. Look for clean-cut damage at the base of plants. 

Mollusk Pests: 

Slugs and Snails: These pests are particularly active during moist, cool periods. They leave slimy trails and chew irregular holes in hostas, lettuce, and other tender plants. 


Japanese Beetles Cabbage Looper Caterpillar and Slugs and Snails as Garden Pests

Preventing Plant Damage

  • Inspect Regularly: Check your plants frequently for early signs of pest activity. Act promptly when signs of pest damage are noticed.
  • Encourage Beneficial Insects: Ladybugs and lacewings are natural predators of aphids and other harmful insects. 
  • Use Barriers: Fences can help keep deer and rabbits away. Copper tape can deter slugs and snails. Netting helps prevent bird and deer damage on fruit trees and shrubs.
  • Baits and traps: Use of baits to eliminate or trap insects and animals removes adults before they can do more damage or reproduce another cycle of pests.
  • Deterrents: Granular and liquid deterrents are available for deer, rabbits and more.
  • Natural Remedies: Neem oil, insecticidal soap, and homemade garlic sprays can be effective against many insect pests. 

By staying alert and taking proactive measures, you can protect your garden from these common pests and enjoy a bountiful harvest and beautiful blooms well into the fall season.

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