Common Garden Pests and How to Get Rid of Them
Did you know that in the USA alone, 42 million households are growing food at home or in a community garden? That's an increase of 17% in just five years.
Yes, the recent trend of organic homegrown food has increased vastly. But, whether you're planting vegetables for consumption, a village competition, or you just want to have a stunning garden, it takes a lot of hard work.
On top of planting, weeding, pruning, fertilizing and more, you have to worry about garden invaders who can sneak in and munch right through your prized crops. These aggressive garden pests can wreak havoc on your garden. Some can even cause irreversible damage in just a matter of hours.
Who are the main culprits, and what can you do to get rid of them?
Read on to find out the names of these destructive garden pests, and how to deter them safely and organically.
Slugs and Snails
Slugs and snails are unfortunately found in many gardens. They are nocturnal and can usually be found in shaded, moist areas of your garden. They have a weak spot for chomping on tender edible crops, such as lettuces, beans, and potatoes.
If you see these persistent critters sliding over your vegetables, pick them off. Try to be especially vigilant after it has rained. But for long-term results, try to remove excess moisture and dead organic matter from your garden.
Another option is to set a trap. A homemade defense is to spread sharp grit around vulnerable plants or wrap copper tape around the top of plant pots. These methods can deter these slimy pests.
Yes, we all love to have an abundance of feathered friends visiting the garden. We may even have some nuts and treats so that they will visit more often. However, some birds can cause damage to your home-grown crops.
Flocks of blackbirds, starlings and even the innocent looking robin all love to munch on ripening fruits and vegetables. Their persistent nibbling can cause significant damage to your garden.
Many use scare-tactics, but this method doesn't offer a long-term solution. Spikes, shock tracks, wire barriers, and netting can help to save your berries, fruits, seedlings and newly grown crops.
Caterpillars are fluffy and look harmless, but are voracious eaters. These common garden bugs devour foliage and plants in short period of time. They can cause heavy damage to your garden, but there are a few simple ways to deter them.
Encourage parasites and predators, such as ladybird beetles, yellow jackets, and birds to eliminate these pesky bugs. Another natural way is to sprinkle neem oil around vegetables to prevent the caterpillars from ravaging your plant's stalks and stems.
If the caterpillars survive your tricks and traps, they may turn into beautiful butterflies, or they may turn into another kind of pest!
Codling moths relentlessly feast on apples and other fruits. Try using strong organic sprays to stop them from chewing into your ripening fruit. There are also pheromone traps that lure male moths and capture them.
Hornworms are common garden bugs that are great at blending in. Their fat, green bodies are hard to spot in the foliage, but their distinctive droppings give them away.
You can control these common garden pests by encouraging beneficial predators to your garden. For instance, attract wasps to your garden by adding basil, oregano, thyme, and cilantro. They might not be the most popular bug, but by adding them to your garden, you can get rid of all the troublesome hornworms.
The dreaded squash bug is the nemesis of your garden. In just a few hours, they can take down a large healthy plant. They can also cause harmful plant-killing diseases.
These annoying bugs need to be picked off your plants every day. If you spot any eggs, remove them too. Plant flowers, carrots, and herbs to attract the Tachinid fly, which is a natural squash bug predator.
These common garden pests invade apple trees and a variety of crops. They can also cause a viral disease in your garden. Aphids are sneaky too, as they hide under a white fluff, which can be easily mistaken for mold.
Firstly, during spring, find any colonies that have begun invading your trees. Scrub them with a bristled brush and diluted dish soap water.
Introduce natural friendly predators into the garden. For instance, add ladybirds, hoverfly, and lacewings. Planted onions and alliums also help to deter aphids.
Neem, peppermint, pepper, garlic, clove and rosemary oils can be sprinkled on your plants to deter an invasion.
The pest of all pests is the mosquito!
This common garden pest is extremely unpopular and can make sitting out in your garden an impossible task.
Reduce their breeding sites by making sure you don't have any stagnant water around. Remove collected water from any clogged rain gutters, old tires, discarded containers and even flower pots.
Use mosquito repellent around your garden to deter them from hanging around your backyard.
Try introducing a few friendly mosquito predators into your yard. For example, bats and swallows have a taste for mozzies. You could install a bat or birdhouse to attract them to your garden.
A Smart Trick
There are also many bigger pesky critters that can cause a huge amount of damage to your garden. Skunks, rabbits, groundhogs, gophers, deer, mice, rats, voles, chipmunks, squirrels, and more can cause chaos.
Use our Squirrel Stopper Deluxe Bird Feeder to safely and effectively repel squirrels from your garden. This pole system is 100% squirrel proof! An ingenious, squirrel-stopping baffle is built right in--the center cylinder rocks from side to side and floats up and down. Squirrels can’t grab onto it or climb past it.
Garden Pests Gone Forever
As you can see, there are many garden pests that could potentially damage your well-maintained garden. Instead of letting it put you off, remember there is an abundance of natural ways to repel these common garden pests.
For more information on how to care for your garden and be rid of any unwanted creatures, check out our blog.