Gardening Home & Garden

Spot the Signs! How To Recognize Common Garden Pests

Spot the Signs! How To Recognize Common Garden Pests

No gardener wants insects to wreak havoc on a bed packed with mature plants. Fortunately, unwelcome guests can be kept away. You won’t have to start pulling out the strong stuff right away, though. You can start with some good old DIY repellants but obviously, if these don’t work, you will need some more vicious form of insect control.

However, before you start working on pest control, you’ll need to recognize the pests in the first place. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to do this once you know what they look like. Keep reading to find out how you can recognize these common garden pests!

#1: Aphids

These are short, pear-shaped bugs that have long antennae and two tubes from their abdomen extending backward. They usually hang around on most fruits and vegetables, herbs, ornamentals, and shade trees and are found in North America. Aphids suck plant sap, distorting foliage and falling leaves and can spread dangerous viral diseases through their feeding habits. 

#2: Cabbage Maggots

These maggots cling to crops from the cabbage family, especially cabbages of the Chinese family and they’re also found throughout North America. The insects tunnel their way through roots, kill plants by creating entry-ways for organisms to fight through. Once these organisms fight their way through the plant stalks, they can also spread infectious diseases so you need to get rid of them as soon as you see them!

#3: Caterpillars

You probably already know what these bugs look like. They are super soft, segmented and have hard head capsules that are quite distinctive. They have six legs in the front and back, though the legs on their rear segments are false. They’re usually found on fruits, vegetables, and shade trees. They chew on leaves and some even tunnel their way into fruits. You need to destroy them once you see them because they will leave perforations and holes along with all your garden plants.

#4: Cutworms

These worms are an inch-long and are also segmented. They’re usually gray or black in color and are nocturnal, i.e. they’re active during night time. They mostly hang out on early flower seedlings and vegetables throughout the North American region. Their main course of destruction is chewing through stems at the ground level. They devour small plants throughout May/June so you need to keep a careful eye out during these months.

#5: Mexican Bean Beetle

These beetles are oval-shaped and have 16 distinctive black spots on their wings. They’re yellow-brown in color and are around ¼ inch long. The larvae are dark yellow and fat and have long spines that branch out. These pests are usually found snacking on cowpeas, snap beans, soybeans, and lima beans. They’re located around most states around the Mississippi River and in parts of Nebraska, Texas, Utah, and Colorado. You’ll know you have a problem when your leaves start looking like lace because of these beetles munch on leaves from underneath. Keep an eye out for them!

Image credits: https://www.pexels.com/photo/close-up-photography-of-a-caterpillar-3197992/

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