Garden pests come in two distinct forms. The first is the smaller insects and their larval versions, and the second is the critters. Just like you, both of these types of garden pests want to eat your fruits and vegetables, with the only problem being that, if left unchecked, they will get more of your bounty than you will. So if you have a garden, I can guarantee that you’ll also have garden pests. Read on to learn more about how you can keep garden pests away.
How To Tell If You Have Garden Pests
One of the easiest things to do is to determine if you have garden pests or not. Do you notice any chewing marks on your leaves or stems? Are some plants dug up? Are your plants suddenly dying? How do the leaves look? Are some plants there one day and gone the next? Are caterpillars crawling on your plants? Do some fruits like tomatoes or cucumbers have holes in them or turn black? If you can say “yes” to any of these questions, you may have garden pests. Let’s first take a look at what you can do about insect pests, and then learn what to do about 4-legged pests.
Types Of Pests
Common Types of Insects Pests Found In Gardens
Red Spider Mites/Gall Mites – These tiny mites typically live under leaves and suck sap, causing yellow leaves. Fine webs are often visible or raised bumps on leaves.
Japanese Beatles – They swarm all kinds of plants and feast on leaves, ruining flowers and crops.
Moths – There are all kinds of moths which at each stage can cause problems in your garden. The Codling moths start as maggots and burrow through apples leaving holes. The Tomato moth chews through ripe fruit.
Vine Weevil Larvae – These small cream grubs feed on plant roots, especially those growing in containers or with fleshy roots killing plants.
Grasshoppers – Grasshoppers chew their way through leaves, flowers and fruits, eating up to half their body weight per day.
Cucumber Beetle – Striped or spotted cucumber beetles like to eat melons, squash and cucumbers and can spread disease
In many ways, insects are going to be the toughest pests to get rid of. There are so many different kinds and it can be difficult to identify the culprit when you’re experiencing garden destruction. Many of them live underneath the leaves or burrow into plant stems. The only warning you’ll get is to see the results of chewed-up foliage, eventually getting so bad it will inevitably wilt and kill the plant. The best course of action here is to spray the plant with a chemical or organic substance, getting rid of the insect, and its larva, outright. There are many available insecticides that are safe for your garden, family, and pets.
Now, there are many insect-killing sprays that will do the job well, but the issue here is that some are made with chemicals that you can’t consume the fruit from. Your best alternative if the garden contains edibles is to go the organic route. There is a multitude of organic sprays and compounds that can be directly applied to the plant, making the plant taste bad to an insect. Organic fatty soaps are one of the best insect killers. Other common types of organic sprays like peppermint spray, tomato leaf spray, garlic spray, and even hot pepper spray will keep a multitude of pesky insects at bay. Remember, these are organic sprays, and they wash away easily, so plan on spraying once a week or after a heavy rain. When you are ready to harvest those plants, give them a good rinse, and bring them to the table.
Other Types of Garden Pests
Deer – Deer are notorious for getting into gardens and flower beds. They will pretty much eat anything you’ve planted, so fencing is ideal to keep them out.
Squirrels – Squirrels are always trying to dig up flower bulbs, and also burry their nuts in your yard ruining all kinds of gardens.
Rabbits – They enjoy eating all kinds of plants from lettuce, hastas, young seedlings, ect.
Dogs and Cats – If you have any strays in your neighborhood they could be digging around in your garden. Cats often deficiate in soil they can easily bury in.
One of the best ways to keep 4-legged animals out of your garden is to fence them out. A 3 or 4-foot tall fence will keep out many different animals, and if you want to take it to the next step, put up an electric fence. This works very well for larger-sized gardens. If rabbits are your main problem, plant marigolds along the edges. Rabbits hate the smell, and will avoid marigolds whenever possible. If deer are a problem, there are deer scents made that repel deer, and even sonic noise makers that you can’t hear, but deer, and other creatures can, that will keep them away.
One of the best animal repellants that work on virtually any animal, is a motion-activated hose sprinkler. Simply attach the spray nozzle to a hose, point the motion-activated sensor towards your garden, turn on the water and relax. Any animal that nears your garden and triggers the sensor will get a blast of cold water. It’s harmless, it automatically waters your garden, and the animal is so surprised by this, that they leave the immediate area. This is some of the newest technology to keep animals away, and it works to keep away virtually any animal from deer to squirrels, even birds, and everything in between.
Keep Pests Out Of Gutters
In addition to having pests in your gardens, gutters are a breeding ground for various pests. It’s a good idea to hire a professional a few times a year to clear your gutters. Leafy gutters can potentially house mice, snakes, mosquitos, and birds.
Keep Garden Pests Away
Your hard work in the garden should be rewarded by a wonderful harvest of fruits and vegetables, but there are insects and animals that love your garden plants as much as you do. As you have read, there are many safe and effective ways to fight back, and by using one or more of these suggestions, you will be able to keep those garden pests away.