If there’s one thing that all gardeners worldwide hate, that would be destructive insects. Don’t you dread the idea of seeing your ripening produce get ruined by those pests? You might be thinking, those insects are no match to the chemicals you spray, but that’s the thing – those chemicals from the insecticide spray you’re using might harm not only the beneficial bugs in your garden but also your plants.
Before you start spraying pesticides, read on and get to know five of the most destructive insects you might find in your garden. Organic AG Products also shares some natural ways to get rid of these insects:
Aphids are tiny critters shaped like pears and have long antennae and two tubes coming from the abdomen. Aphids like fruits, vegetables, flowers, and shade trees. They suck plant sap and distort foliage and dropping of leaves. They can also cause mold growth and even viral diseases.
As you can probably tell from the name, cabbage maggots like to stick to crops that belong to the cabbage family. They especially prefer Chinese cabbages. The larvae create tunnels in the roots and kill the plants directly or make entryways for disease-carrying organisms. Cabbage maggots can be found throughout North America.
Caterpillars are soft larvae with segmented bodies. They have a hard head capsule and six legs in their front part. They also have fleshy false legs on the rear segments of their body. You can find caterpillars on different fruits and vegetables, shade trees, and ornamentals, among others. Caterpillars chew on leaves and even dig a tunnel into some fruits.
Adult female scales look like either soft or hard bumps growing on the leaves, stems, or fruits of plants, while males are small flying insects. In their larvae stage, they’re crawling insects with mouths that look like threads. You can find them on different fruits, trees, ornamental shrubs, and even indoor plants. No matter what stage they are in, they suck sap from plants, thus weakening them. Signs that your plants are infested with scales are yellow-tinted plants, drop leaves and dying plants. Honeydew is excreted onto fruit and foliage, too.
Cutworms are fat segmented larvae that are either black or gray and are typically active at night. They are usually 1-inch long and can be found in early flower and vegetable seedlings or transplants. Cutworms can easily chew through stems that are at ground level and may even wholly eat small plants in the months of May and June.
How to Naturally Eliminate Harmful Garden Insects
- Till in compost or any organic matter before the growing season begins and cover it with cardboard or plastic for six months. This should kill most garden pests and their eggs.
- Make sure you use disease and pest-resistant seeds.
- Selectively thin out plants to get rid of weak seedlings that are likely to be diseased.
- Water plants in the early morning.
- Make sure you control weeds and keep your garden clean.
- Use insect traps like those yellow sticky cards you find at gardening shops.
- Add more beneficial insects like ladybugs.
- Practice crop rotation.
- Remove infected leaves.
- Use organic insecticides.
The pests mentioned here are just some of the most common ones you will likely find in your garden. Before they wreak havoc, it is best to follow the tips shared above to eliminate them. Of course, you should be careful with the insecticides you use in your garden and stick to organic ones that keep your plants safe.
Organic AG Products strive to give you only the highest-quality natural pest control products for your garden. Whether you’re growing ornamentals, vegetables, or fruit-bearing plants, our products will work hard to keep them safe and strong. Check out our natural insecticides today!