Ultimate Guide to Killing BugsJune 10, 2021
Learn how to kill X number of common garden insects
Red spider mites are a tiny but persistent species of mite that can severely damage your plants. They can destroy a whole garden in a short amount of time. And they’re common during the hot summer months, particularly in dry conditions. This is when flowers and vegetables are most vulnerable.
Red spider mites live in warm environments and thrive in hot, dry weather. Though they can also sometimes live in humid conditions. Red spider mites are smaller than clover mites. The most common member of the mite family is the two-spotted spider mite.
The red spider mite is also related to the spruce spider mite, which feeds on spruce trees. This species is a difficult pest, especially in dry environments.
Spotting red spider mites
The adult red spider mite will spin a cottony webbing around the leaves of affected plants. The webbing is made up of a network of fibers that traps aphids and digests them as they feed on the crops’ juices. Much like a spider web.
Adult fleas, which are tiny white or gray insects, also cause whitefly larvae. These attach to the roots. Both the adults and the larvae cause significant harm to the infected plant. So controlling them is crucial in preventing a spider mite infestation from spreading. Fortunately, there are several ways to deal with this issue.
What are some ways to get rid of red spider mites from your garden?
The first step is to detect a red spider mite infestation. They typically hide on the underside of leaves. This is very easy to do since they’re very small plant pests that rarely venture far from the plants they feed on.
They also feed off a variety of plant types. If you see little groups of them in the soil near your landscape plants, check the surrounding vegetation for signs of damage. You’ll likely find that the infested plant isn’t the only one infected.
These predatory insects usually infect the entire plant and its neighbor. This tiny insect can create a heavy infestation among garden plants and fruit trees. These insects create issues for indoor plants too. Spider mites are also common houseplant pests.
Adult spider mites can cause terrible plant damage and ruin healthy plants. You have to pay attention and act quickly to keep your plants healthy.
Spider mite detection is vital. Check the underside of plant leaves on all your plants. As soon as you’re aware that there are mites present, the next step is to take action. Once you see one spider mite, there will be a spider mite egg, and many more. You must stop the spider mite damage to your plants.
Methods for removing mites
There are different effective methods to get rid of these pests. Some of these include spraying plants with insecticides like horticultural oil. Or natural repellers like neem oil or insecticidal soap.
There are some other organic methods which you can use to get rid of them. In particular, you can make a powerful detergent that you can spread on plants and seeds. This will discourage spider mites from hatching.
You can use chemical pesticides as well to combat your spider mite problem and save your host plant. While many prefer this mite killer method, it may be difficult to use in certain conditions. It can also be costly. Fortunately, there are natural approaches that can also work well.
Neem oil is often considered an organic pesticide. You can spray this on house plants or outdoor plants, but keep this oil solution away from pets. Oil spray suffocates the mites and offers natural control over this common pest.
You can also add rosemary oil to a spray bottle with lukewarm water and douse ornamental plants and more. Be sure to spray the rosemary solution on the undersides of leaves. You can also try adding white vinegar to liquid dish soap along with lukewarm water. Coat the leaf tissue with this solution.
Another natural method is adding other insects. You can introduce a less toxic species than the spider mite to your plants. These other insects can be all you need to rid your garden of that pesky predatory mite infestation. These are called beneficial insects. These mite predators are natural enemies to mites and mite eggs.
Some plants, like tomato plants, likely won’t show visible damage in the beginning. In reality, it may take months or even years before you even notice the red spider mites on a tomato leaf. By this point, you may have severe infestations.
The look of the spider mite population may first become clear during the late summer or early fall. In this period, the mites will make their presence known by visiting the plant leaf and feeding on it.
This is the perfect time to act against the pest by adding a beneficial insect species. But too many additional pests can actually cause the red spider population to flourish. For instance, a lot of aphids feed on crop plants. Which means that a plant infected by the pest may have little to no defense left from others. The same is true for other insects, such as wasps and lacewings.
What’s the best way?
The best way to remove spider mites is a very personal issue. Should you use neem oil or some stronger red spider mite killer? You should be aware that some red spider mites are microscopic, so they may not be visible to the naked eye. Yet, most are quite large, so they’ll be easily spotted.
The spider mite frequently appears in late summer or early autumn. When the plant leaf is growing on the stem of the plant.
If you see any dark red spots on the leaves, then this is most likely where they’re hiding. They’ll generally appear in the center of a plant, feeding on the sap that collects there. This natural predator can also appear on the average houseplant. So check your indoor plant collection as well.
The best way to kill spider mites is to act fast. Take action immediately after you notice them on the affected plant. The longer you wait, the less opportunity you have to get rid of the spider mites in your garden or on your houseplants.
How to Remove Eriophyid from Farms
Eriophyidae is a family of mite insects. There are over 200 types in this family. Some common types include:
- Russet mite
- Spider mite
- Dust mite
- Rust mite
- Twospotted spider mite
- Red mite
- Coconut mite
- Purple mite
- European red mite
- Ear mite
- Bird mite
- Blister mite
- Scabies mite
- Hemp russet mite
- Gall mite
- Eriophyid mite
- Broad mite
- Varroa mite
There are many mite species. More include predatory mites, feather mites, eriophyoid mites, and beneficial mites. The spider mite species can be a difficult mite population to remove. But there are methods for handling a mite infestation. This article focuses on the eriophyid mite.
If you are starting off as a gardener, you might have plenty of questions on your mind. This is especially true when you’re new to growing tropical plants. Plant-eating mites are common agricultural pests. The female mite lays eggs and both female and male will eat the plant and the plant’s leaf tissue.
Even though it may sound complex to kill off these pest mites, there are several ways to go about doing it. If you find it difficult to kill them by hand, you may always hire a company or an expert in pest control to do the job for you. Listed below are a couple of methods.
Methods for removing eriophyid mites
The first method you can use in killing off the eriophyid mite is to pull them out of the ground. Try this as soon as they have grown old enough. They will come from the floor as root bundles.
It’s easy to do this if you’ve implanted them on a row or within a row cover. The issue with this is that the roots may go down the sides of the row. And perhaps make their way into the plant which you’re trying to grow.
Once they’ve attained maturity, this is actually the time which they’ll try to escape. And they begin living in the dirt again. You have two options now. You can dig them up each time before they grow too large to be helpful any longer. Or you can use a rotating cover that moves them around. In any case, you don’t want your main crop to be affected.
Sometimes, the best way to kill the eriophyid mite is to use bait. This bait is widely available at garden centers and lots of nurseries. Simply put it down on the ground close to the plants that you intend on harvesting. Depending upon whether the plant is an annual or perennial, it might take a while to kill them. Just remember not to harvest until the first indications of these have disappeared.
If you’d like to understand how to rid your farm of eriophiles, the second choice is to use compost. They come in liquid or spray forms and operate nicely with compact and small plants. Just remember that you need to only use one type at a time. A rotating cover may keep them from growing back, but don’t use the sprays directly on the crops. Use them carefully and only in places where you haven’t used them before.
You can also create mite spray at home using neem oil. Adding neem oil to lukewarm water creates a natural insecticide. Spray the solution on the host plant and its infested leaves. Spray the mixture anywhere you see mite damage.
Saturate any leaf with a visible insect infestation. This also kills mite eggs. And this works as dust mite spray and lice spray.
Another method is to introduce natural enemies of the insect pest. This is a sort of biological control for mite pests. This other insect species will live on the plant’s leaf tissue instead. And they keep pesky mites from infesting your plant.
No matter how you decide to kill eriophiles, you’ll discover that it’s not too hard of a job to do. They’ll grow in clumps, thus it may take a lot of pressure off the main crop which you’re attempting to grow. You’ll likely wish to do a rotation too, to ensure that the next crop isn’t influenced by an unwanted plant.
How to Fix an Eriophyidae Infestation – Pest Control Solutions
The way to handle an Eriophyidae infestation begins with identifying the species involved. Aphids are a huge group of insects including ladybirds, beetles, lacewings, caddis flies, the praying mantis, and flies that feed on plants. These are unlike thrips, silverfish, or the arachnid.
The scientific name of this Eriophylus species is Eriocarpum rosaeformis. The scientific name of this Eriodids is aphids. The most common species in North America are Coccidura longa-virens and Coccidura flavimaculata.
Eriophyidae is a large family of over 200 genera of mites. A mite is a parasitic insect which lives off plants. Some include:
- Dust mite
- Rust mite
- Spider mite
- Eriophyid mite
- Hemp russet mite
- Clover mite
- Red spider mite
There are also bird mites, blister mites, broad mites, gall mites, and cyclamen mites. Parasitic mites can cause a lot of damage to an infected plant. Some mite species are nearly microscopic, so you may not notice them at first. But proper pest management requires inspection. Closely inspect your plant’s leaf tissue.
If there’s a pest infestation, you’ll notice mite damage and possibly leaf litter. A host plant with a spider mite infestation, for example, will have a delicate webbing spun by adult mites, either by a male or female mite.
Do you have an eriodid infestation?
An Eriodid infestation occurs when a colony of aphids occupies a plant, usually in spring or summer. The pupae are known as flies because they attach themselves to the undersides of leaves. The pupae begin feeding on the leaves of the plant if it’s warm enough and there’s sufficient moisture to permit them to grow.
The adult maggots are called nymphs. When a female enters the pupal phase, the process of hatching starts. The female goes into a brief process where she releases a single fly which becomes the number one egg-laying larva.
This fly is secreted by the female. New pupa forms at this location. The lifecycle of an Eriophyidae fly can last from two to four weeks.
Larvae and pupae are insects that resemble ticks or fleas. They feed on plant sap and grow at a rapid speed. When a plant has an Eriophilia problem, the immature larvae attach themselves onto the undersides of plant leaves.
They create an abundance of silk when they mature. Silk can snare materials like dirt, fallen leaves, and other debris, which could lead to plant decay and disease.
If you’ve got an infested plant with aphids, you must first understand how to handle the eriophyid mite infestation. You can stop an existing outbreak before it worsens. So to do that, you’ll have to either purchase an insecticide or an Eriophilia Fixer for use in your home.
The major reason an outbreak occurs is because the right conditions for the development of these bugs aren’t present. The right conditions include warm, dry weather, moisture, and nourishment. Many treatments exist for how to fix an eriophyid mite infestation. One of the most effective remedies that you could use in your home is the Eriophilia pupae infusion.
This solution helps to stop or slow down the breeding of those pests by disrupting their sexual life span. After you’ve introduced an extract to the affected regions, wait roughly five to ten days. You should see a substantial reduction in the amount of aphids present on your plant.
Other pest control methods
If you need another method of mite control, you can try insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Another natural pesticide is neem oil. You can control a mite population by spraying a neem oil solution on the soil or on ornamental plants.
Another method is introducing a predatory mite population to the infected plant. These are natural enemies, called beneficial insects.
How to Remove Japanese Beetles from Your Garden
Have you noticed skeletonized leaves on your favorite plant? You might have a Japanese beetle infestation. These beetles are often called “plant lice.” They’re a pest and need to be removed from your garden. Luckily, that isn’t too difficult to do.
The adult beetle often likes a sweet fruit garden. So if you have planted or plan to plant anything like tangerine trees or mulberry bushes, you could have problems with the Japanese beetle.
The Japanese beetle, a common lawn and garden pest, is part of the Scarab beetle family. They lay eggs in soil and hatch larvae. The Japanese beetle larvae will eat anything they can get their tiny little mouths around.
You may locate these Japanese beetle grub on the undersides of leaves and around the underside of stems. They also live in soil and feed on your lawn and plant roots. Because of this, Japanese beetle larvae are also called lawn grubs or white grub.
As these garden pests grow bigger, they move on to your plants and start destroying the ladybug larva that needs moisture to survive. If your climate has very wet weather, ladybug larvae will stick to the stems of your favorite flowers until the soil becomes so saturated with moisture that the aphids move indoors to a drier climate.
Methods for removal
The very best way to eliminate these beetles is to make sure you control the moisture in your own garden. For aphids, you have to keep it at about 60% humidity. This moisture will even need to be on a regular basis, so be sure you water your garden every day.
Your backyard won’t look the same if you have a Japanese beetle larvae infestation. You’ll probably see a noticeable difference when the aphids are all gone. By using an insecticidal soap and soapy water on your plants, you’ll kill any Japanese beetles which are currently living in your garden. But you’ll need to use insecticide sprays on the remaining aphids in the event that they go underground.
You can also try to spray neem oil on your landscape plants to act as a pest control for the adult Japanese beetle. Another option for Japanese beetle control is milky spore powder. Sprinkle some milky spore at the base of your shrub, fruit tree, ornamental plant, or other affected plants.
Pruning to eliminate beetles
In order to control just how much beetle activity takes place in your garden, you want to eliminate any beetles that are living in your plant. To achieve this you’ll have to snip off stems off with a set of garden shears.
You need to ensure that you don’t cut these monsters completely out of the garden. Instead, you should wait for the beetles to die off naturally then replace them with something else. Wait till you see a dead beetle as an indicator.
You could even curb beetles by introducing beneficial types of ladybugs in your backyard. Ladybugs will prey upon the beetles and aphids, so you’ll have to get a variety of ladybugs. They greatly help reduce a Japanese beetle infestation.
Ladybugs are considered beneficial insects. There are various sorts of ladybugs that you may use to control beetles. These are the red and green varieties. And they’re often sold in containers.
Another type of beneficial insect are heterorhabditis bacteriophora, commonly called beneficial nematodes. The nematode can help you curb Japanese beetle damage by eliminating the Japanese beetle population.
What to do about a Leaf Miner Infestation
The best way to deal with leaf miner pests is to keep them from infesting your plant in the first place. This may seem like common sense to some individuals, but it’s not always obvious.
Frequently, people remove fallen leaves from their yard and rake them in a pile for the winter. During the springtime, these piles of leaves and other debris become full of moisture and spores, which can lead to a leafminer infestation. This is logical since foliage eaters are generally found in regions that have hot weather, moist environments, and tons of food for feeding.
Leaf miner damage
Inspect the leaf surface. You might see leaf miner damage to the affected leaf. A leaf miner will burrow through an infested leaf, eating the leaf tissue. It’ll also lay eggs. Eventually the leaf miner larvae feed on the plant’s leaves. Leaf miner larva turn into the adult leaf miner and the cycle starts all over. The insect will leave a trail of dead leaf tissue, like a scar, the hallmark of leafminer damage.
There are several types of leafminer insects. Some include:
- Citrus leafminer
- Boxwood leafminer
- Spinach leafminer
- Tomato leafminer
The tomato leafminer will feed on a tomato leaf while the citrus leafminer will feed on a citrus leaf, and so on. To get rid of the insect pests, you need to first identify where they’re more concentrated. After that, take a moment to contemplate how you intend to remove the leaf miner insects from the concentrated area.
As you may imagine, the leafminer isn’t the only type of critter that can lead to an infestation. There are many pests that can do exactly the exact same thing.
For these types of infestations, the ideal approach is to treat every hole as one distinct entry point, using baits or traps to seal each hole.
If you have time, take a bit of string or any other material and tie it to each tree hole. Make sure that it’s at least a foot from the edge of the pit in case ants try to pull a branch down to get to the food source.
As the insects make their way toward your home, the ants will be alerted to the odor of ant eggs, which will be released as they seek out warmth and fresh sources of food. When an infestation is found early, you can prevent a major infestation before it has time to take hold.
Other types of insect pests
You’ll find there are other types of insect pests that can create problems in your own home when left unchecked. A popular one among them is the red spider, also known as the black-legged variety.
All these bugs are oval-shaped, about a quarter-inch long, and brown or gray in color. When they locate a tree, like a fallen branch, they raise the tree, then rip branches off as they move, until they get to their food source.
Removing leaves to stop leaf miners
If you want to stop leaf miner infestation, then there are two or three things that you can do to make sure an infestation doesn’t develop. Remove any fallen plant leaves on your property. This is especially important when you live in a cold or humid climate since leaves are a food source for these insects. Also, inspect your yard for empty cans and other containers in which the insects could live.
If you find an infestation has taken hold in your house, you’ll want to think about prevention. Be sure to clear away any stones or sticks from your lawn. Don’t leave food crumbs lying around.
It’s also a good idea to restrict your pets’ access to your garden or areas of your yard with tree cover. Pets can track bugs into your home. Be sure to rake up and remove any leaves on a daily basis to prevent insect pests from infesting your garden and trees.
How to Kill Codling Moths
Killing the codling moth is not a difficult task, as soon as you know where they are and how to attack them. This insect does great damage to some houses because of their feeding habits. The adult moth often puts their eggs on any object that humans come into contact with, like on cushions, bedding, clothing, and upholstery.
The mature moths are about .3 inches long and live mostly in soil, decaying leaves, and crops. They’re also found in fallen fruit around fruit trees. Though their scientific name is Tubifeatheria scalare, they’re commonly called “frost moths,” which are common in the United States, Central America, and southern Canada.
They may cause fruit damage because they lay eggs in fruit. Have you ever found a worm in your apple? The codling moth larva has also earned itself the name apple maggot. You may have found codling moth larva in infested fruit. An uncontrolled codling moth population can ruin an orchard harvest by spoiling developing fruit.
Methods for getting rid of the codling moth
It’s fairly simple to kill codling moths. But problems may arise if you don’t take immediate action for codling moth control. If you let them develop and mature, then their population will increase.
You need to create a mating disruption. If you don’t, the insect will become more difficult to get rid of. You can prevent their infestation by simply putting out bait for them to eat like blood-worms, mealworms, and grubs.
One way to kill codling moths in your garden is to make use of winter pesticides. Such pesticides must be applied before the onset of the codling moth egg development or during their initial stage of life. The compounds, such as hydrocyanic acid, are also effective at killing the adult codling moth as well as the codling moth larvae and eggs. Insecticide sprays are often effective in controlling a codling moth population.
Freezing the codling moth
Another way to kill codling moths in your backyard is through freezing. You can buy commercial products that contain either a freezing solution or nitrogen dioxide. This will freeze the mature pest and codling moth larva along with the codling moth caterpillar. These freezing solutions and products should be used immediately after the last cocoon development to be certain no pupae survive.
It’s also better if you remove the adult from the garden as soon as you notice their presence. In other words, don’t leave them to get on with their food supply.
When the adults are frozen, you can place them in a sealable plastic bag. The sealed bag can be set in your freezer. They’ll remain secure until the next day when you’re able to accumulate them. On the subsequent day, you can identify the mature codling moths which are alive and must be taken from your garden.
Traps and beneficial insects
It’s worth the effort to be attentive and make sure that you’re familiar with the moths in your garden. Bear in mind that codling moths can develop to five millimeters.
When you’ve identified them, you have to make your way to their probable hiding areas. You may begin by taking away the pupae which are hanging round. You can find a codling moth trap at a garden center store. But be sure to choose one that functions well in your backyard before buying.
Another option for controlling the codling moth population is beneficial insects. Or you can use a pheromone solution to set a pheromone trap. The codling moth adult is attracted to the pheromone lure.
How to Kill Winter Moths
Winter is a season of cold temperatures, snow, and ice in much of North America. But it’s also a season with a few pests that may ruin your backyard and fruit trees. Among them is the winter moth. The winter moth is a little insect that resides in moist habitats.
In early spring, adult moths head out into the open plains and take to the trees to feed on the berries that are just beginning to sprout. By late summer, they’ve gathered enough nectar to fertilize the crops which will flower again in the autumn.
So, how do you kill winter moths? It’s quite simple if you use the right kind of insecticides. When it comes to picking an insecticide for your backyard, there are a few things that you’ll want to keep in mind.
In order to prevent potential issues with insectivorous pests, be sure to use the insecticides before the winter moth population has time to move into their new home, because they’ll start to lay eggs just like they do during the summer months.
Choose an insecticide that’s safe for your crops and that will work well in your ornamental trees or fruit tree groves, as well as any mulch or other plants that surround your residence. Some of the top insecticides are plant specific and species specific. For instance, there are insecticides which will function on caterpillar bugs. But they won’t harm other types of slugs or snails. Check the label for details.
Caterpillar insecticides are actually one of the least difficult to apply, since they don’t need any extra care for the affected plant. This would be a great option to rid your trees and garden of winter moth caterpillar pests.
If you’re searching for insecticides that are plant specific, learn what kind of species your host plant is. You might want to consider using a special brand of insecticidal soap. Commonly used by horticulturalists around the world, this soap can be sprayed on trees and the various tissues of a plant including flower bud blossoms and the base of its leaves. It functions as an insecticide, which kills slugs and snails, and it repels mosquitoes.
If you’re contemplating using insecticidal soap on your garden, be sure it’s made for winter moth infestation purposes. Or be sure that you use a different brand that is made for this purpose and moth pest insects.
Winter moth spray
If you want to rid your yard of winter moths, a fantastic product to try out is a winter moth spray. Just like insecticidal soap, this approach won’t damage your flowers or plants.
It will attack the entire life cycle of the insect, including winter moth eggs and winter moth larvae. And after it’s killed, the cycle will stop so that your garden won’t become overrun by these moths. If you have an issue with winter snails, however, it might be more effective to use something that is made to be sprayed on the underside of the plants’ leaf tissue.
These are a few of the numerous methods out there for people wondering, “How do I kill winter moths in my garden?” There are also some natural methods for controlling these creatures if you don’t want to resort to harsh chemicals.
Many naturalists don’t use chemicals and don’t encourage their members to use them. And some of them have observed results from their own research. Natural alternatives will frequently work for your garden, without leaving it scarred or damaged.
You can learn how to kill winter moths in your garden if you do some research for your specific situation. Just remember that prevention is always better than a cure.
How to Remove Aphids from Your Garden
Aphids are a familiar pest. They’re sometimes called “plant lice” because they’re parasitic, common, and stubborn. The adult aphid feeds on the infested plant and its juices. Aphids even feed on the roots and can destroy an entire garden fast.
This common insect pest not only feasts on any vegetable plant they can find, they’re also difficult houseplant pests. The adult female aphid lays eggs in a typical garden plant. The aphid eggs or larvae stay in the plant till they mature, then feed on its juices, and eventually they can lead to a massive outbreak. Unless you stop them.
It’s extremely important to control an aphid infestation at its onset instead of allowing it to grow. Aphids are very resistant to chemical sprays, but using a few simple tricks, you’ll be an aphid control pro before a problem even begins.
To start, the most important factor in controlling an aphid population is moisture. In a vegetable garden, for example, squash plants should have sufficient moisture to encourage a healthy crop. Plants in warm areas should have more moisture than plants in cool areas.
You’ll want to avoid using attractants that attract mature insects. For instance, squash blossoms attract flies, so squash growers often apply a thin coating of oil to their squash to pull flies. This often makes the flies invisible to the naked eye, but it also brings other bugs, which lead to even more damage!
If you don’t want to use attractants to control the insect pest, there are a couple of pure techniques you can use. First, plant mint in your backyard. But don’t use the strong commercial products available in the supermarket.
Mint will repel mature bugs, but the smell is very strong and might attract other pests too. Another option is to plant mint in an area where you don’t have any vegetable plants, such as around a tree trunk.
Along with using attractants, you’ll also need to use deterrents. There are lots of organic ways to control adult bugs without using harsh substances. For instance, if you’re growing squash, consider growing onions too. These veggies repel mature aphids, and they’re far lower in price than many industrial insecticides.
Garlic has a very strong odor, which is another deterrent. This insect pest also likes tomato leaves, so to protect your tomato plants from aphid damage, think about adding garlic to your garden.
If you’re having problems with an aphid infestation, then you could consider using a commercial spray. You can buy anti-aphid sprays at most garden stores or online. Sprays are applied in the late winter or early spring, and they usually do the trick in a few days.
But remember, if you have a severe problem, you may want to speak to a professional pest control company, as their expertise will likely allow them to understand how to remove aphids from gardens more effectively. They’ll also be able to tell you more about how to prevent a future infestation.
Sticky traps are another aphid control method. The pest becomes trapped in the gluey solution and can’t continue doing damage. Sticky traps work well if your aphid problem is affecting indoor plants. Just keep the traps close to your houseplant but out of reach of children and pets.
Some gardeners make their own aphid spray using neem oil. Spray this solution on the underside of the leaf. Make sure to dilute the oil. Too much neem oil can damage flowering plants and other garden plants.
If you do choose to use pesticides to eliminate aphids, there are a number of precautions you need to take to reduce damage to your crops. To begin with, it’s important that you keep the sprayed areas clean. So keeping the soil damp is an excellent first step.
Keep an eye on the plants in your yard and make sure that they don’t become stressed during treatment. Watch for signs of stress like changes in color, drooping, or leaf drop.
How to Fix a Scale Insect Infestation
Fixing scale insect infestations is an ordeal many gardeners deal with every year.
This pest lives and grows in soil that usually lacks nutrients, which makes them a big challenge to eliminate. They also live on plant leaves and stems. There are several species of scale bugs including the brown scale and the magnolia scale, the largest of the soft scale insect pests.
This scale pest typically forms an intricate society consisting of several members. They
can feed on a variety of organic materials including roots and even individual foods such as sausage sandwiches. The adult scale insect also lives on ornamental plants, indoor plants, outdoor plants, and shrub plants, feeding off the plant juices.
The sap sucking insects typically feed on plants and secrete a sugary substance called sticky honeydew which leads to sooty mold and damages the plant. If you’re dealing with a heavy infestation, you’ll notice this residue on plant leaves and stems.
These insects can be a great nuisance. They’ve also been found to reproduce quickly and easily, with a procedure called “germ mating,” which makes them incredibly difficult to get rid of once they’ve set up shop. These factors make scale insect control an extremely hard task for many gardeners and landscape contractors. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to deal with scale insect infestations.
The ideal way to handle a scale insect infestation is to prevent it from happening in the first place. The best way to do this is to correct any soil conditions that encourage their growth.
For instance, if you don’t have a good deal of limestone in your garden or if the soil isn’t filled with humic acid, scale insects will tend to thrive. If you take steps to control the conditions that promote their development, you can greatly reduce the problems caused by these pesky insects.
Spray and oil solutions
If you already have an infestation, you can try to physically remove armored scale insects from your backyard. There are several options here. You can try using a mixture of vinegar and ammonia, which has proven effective in many instances as a way of managing scale infestations.
You could also take an insecticide and dab it over the insect’s body. This has a small effect on the adult scale insect. But keep in mind it doesn’t kill the egg cells that remain.
Many gardeners also try neem oil. Dilute neem oil and spray it on the infested plant. Take care to coat the undersides of leaf tissues and around stems where the insect pest has laid its eggs.
You can also apply insecticidal soap to the host plant. Remember, if you use a systemic insecticide, you may also end up killing aphid bugs. And scale insects can become resistant to insecticides over time.
Finally, if none of these approaches work, your final alternative for handling a scale infestation might be to seal up the area where the scale insects are still reproducing. Sealing the area can make it impossible for plant pests to replicate.
This may require you to do some digging, and it may also take a little time to build up a solid foundation for your structure. When the structure is firmly in place, the pests shouldn’t be able to call your yard home anymore.
Remember that the best option is prevention. A properly maintained lawn or garden is the very best bet for preventing infestations. If you find yourself with an issue, take action immediately before it gets out of control and damage becomes irreversible. Preventive action is always better than betting on a quick fix.
What to do about Whitefly Infestations
What should you do about a whitefly infestation? These plant pests have recently become a big problem in North America. They’re becoming more resistant to pesticides and compounds, making killing them more difficult. Read on to learn what you can do to fix the whitefly problem in your garden.
There are many whitefly species. Some include:
- Ficus whitefly
- Citrus whitefly
- Giant whitefly
- Rugose spiraling whitefly
- Greenhouse whitefly
- Silverleaf whitefly
- Ash whitefly
A whitefly population can infect indoor plants as well as outdoor plants. Whiteflies will feed on plant sap and eventually destroy greenhouse plants, ornamental plants, and vegetable garden plants.
Keep in mind whiteflies are commonly seen in cabbage. Though other vegetable crops (broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) also attract adult whitefly bugs, they’re much less common in these plants. They’re commonly seen in soil and on plants, and they prefer to feed on new leaves.
Keeping the area clear of debris
An effective method of whitefly control is keeping the dirt in your garden free from debris. This insect really prefers to feed on decaying material, so it’s crucial to keep the soil clear. This implies digging ditches around the base of the plants to collect water and keep the soil moist.
If the soil gets too moist, the bug might not be in a position to finish feeding. You also need to remove any decaying matter sitting on top of the soil as soon as you see it. This prevents the whitefly larvae from using the soil as a haven for the next feeding.
Another problem you may run into is whitefly eggs. The eggs can survive quite a bit of damage before hatching. It’s not unusual to find chafer or cabbage plants that have hundreds of these little buggers!
To deal with this matter, simply cut off any green stems, and wash the infected plant with a strong detergent solution or insecticidal soap. Don’t rinse. Simply scrub any insects away and let the soil dry.
You can also try spraying the infested plant with a neem oil solution. Or you can introduce beneficial insects. Ladybugs are natural enemies to the whitefly and can help you control the whitefly population in your yard.
Calling in reinforcements
If none of these methods seem to work, then it may be time for an expert’s help. There are lots of pest control companies that help you treat insect problems. See if you can find a well reviewed business in your community.
Doing nothing is the worst thing you can do when you find a whitefly infestation. They’ll gradually kill your plants if you don’t intervene. If you don’t act immediately, you could allow the infestation to spread. You’ll lose more plants in the end. Bear in mind the goal of whitefly control is to reduce the current whitefly population and to prevent them from coming back.
How to Kill Viburnum Beetles
Are you looking for some ways to kill viburnum beetles? As the warm days of summer draw to a close, it’s time to take stock of your garden and see what needs to be done. If you find yourself constantly picking at your lawn and garden trying to get rid of those pests munching on your viburnum bushes, then you have found your biggest enemy: the viburnum leaf beetle!
The viburnum leaf beetle is a species of beetle which feeds exclusively on viburnum varieties. Some of these viburnum species include:
- Native viburnum
- Mapleleaf viburnum
- Burkwood viburnum
- Nannyberry viburnum
The viburnum leaf beetle will eat any viburnum shrub in its path, including the leaves and twigs of the plant. The worst part about having to deal with this type of insect is the fact that they eat quickly and have no trouble entering your lawn and garden.
The viburnum beetle is quick in a process that involves using pheromones on the infested plant and then following that up with a feeding frenzy that can consume an entire shrub in as little as two weeks. This is why it’s so important to know the fastest and most efficient way to rid your garden of these pests!
While it would be ideal to simply treat the area and eliminate the leaf beetles themselves, this isn’t always possible. You might have to do a little bit of treatment before your bugs completely go away, but you must also make sure that you treat the soil where the beetles feed to ensure that the next infestation won’t be able to survive.
When looking for the best way to eliminate these pests, you must understand their behavior in order to fully take advantage of any prevention. For example, if a plant is positioned directly in front of a tree or bush, bugs may move directly into that spot and lay their eggs.
Getting rid of viburnum leaf beetle eggs
There are many methods that you can use to eliminate viburnum beetles, including the natural way to eliminate these pests. When you learn how to kill viburnum beetles, you should first find out where they lay their eggs. You can get rid of a generation of viburnum beetles if you can wipe them out before the eggs hatch.
It’s quite common for the eggs to be laid in the lower part of a leaf or even at the base of a stem. Once you find them, you can easily remove eggs and larvae from your viburnum plant using a leaf blower. You can also prune branches and twigs where the beetle has laid its eggs.
The next step in removing this pest is to identify where the adult beetle population is living. While they may leave the leaves behind, the adults will most likely die when they’re found. However, if you want to ensure that there are no future generations of this pest living in your garden, you must remove all eggs and larvae.
You can also encourage predator insect populations to inhabit your garden. These insects are natural enemies to the viburnum beetle. They’re called beneficial insects, such as green lacewings and spined soldier bugs.
Horticultural oil is another method. You can apply this oil to the bush branches and it’ll help control how many eggs survive to hatch. Insecticidal soap is also effective in controlling the viburnum beetle population.
What to do about Thrips Infestations
Thrips are a tiny insect that can be found feeding off plants across the globe. There are many thrips species. Some of these include:
- Western flower thrip
- Chilli thrips
- Greenhouse thrips
- Flower thrips
- Cuban laurel thrips
- Citrus thrips
- Onion thrips
- Predatory thrips
Simply put: thrips damage plants. They can infest indoor plants and greenhouse crops as well as lawn and garden plant varieties. And they eat more than leaves! This pest eats up all kinds of plant tissue on different plant parts, including flower buds and stems.
Getting rid of thrips
So what do you do about a thrips infestation? There are a few good methods for controlling adult thrip and larvae. The first step in most cases is to locate the source of the problem.
Adult fly and moth larvae (called nymphs) are usually found growing on the undersides of leaves where the plant hasn’t yet had an internal host, such as a leaf or a plant stem, or in damp soil. These adult bugs will often cluster together on a leaf or stalk, so if you can find their hosts early enough they’ll be killed before you notice any thrips damage to your plants.
The next step is to apply physical controls. Thrips need air to become active, so removing some of the light or air that they get to survive is important. This plant pest will often cluster on the underside of a plant leaf or stem, so removing access to this area is important.
One way to do this is to bend the branch with a leaf nail or a screwdriver blade and pry off the portion of the stem that is above the foliage that’s not attached to anything. You might also try clipping off the stem just above the nymphs.
Once the airways have been opened, the adult flies should fall off. You may then treat it with an insecticide to get the remaining nymphs off your plants. However, it’s important to realize that while these thrips are killed instantly upon contact with your spray, they’re slow-moving and may be difficult to locate using physical controls alone.
Dealing with widespread infestations
If you suspect that the thrips infestation is more widespread, there are two additional options available. One method uses a chemical that kills the adult thrips, while the other relies on physical contact to remove them. Chemical-based sprays are available at many garden stores but are more costly than sprays containing only physical ingredients.
There are also a couple of other concerns related to the appearance of thrips on a plant. Because they grow in strings rather than spreading out in an upright position, they can create an uneven canopy of the leaf surface.
In order to control this problem, you can place a screen over the plant or dig a hole underneath and pour a liquid fertilizer into the hole. This will help to pin down the chips and prevent them from growing back after the plant has been sprayed with an insecticide.
What can you do for plants that have already been infected? Unfortunately, if you attempt to remove a leaf that has been eaten by a trip, you’re likely to spread the thrips to the rest of the plant. To avoid this, leave a leaf on a plant to consume it, or cover the leaf with a balled-up piece of newspaper and place it in a dark area to keep the thrips from finding it.
If you must remove a leaf from a plant, try to pierce the stem end so that the prongs penetrate the foliage and kill the offending pest. For leaves that you plan on keeping, make sure they’re kept dry and well-watered by placing them in a plastic bag with a couple of pieces of newspaper or cellophane and don’t forget to put them back in the garden shortly after using them.
Getting rid of a thrip infestation is a difficult task. Their very tough exterior makes them difficult to dislodge from plants, and even when you do manage to dislodge one from a plant, you risk spreading them to other plants. Therefore, it’s best to prevent the insect infestation in the first place, but if that proves impossible, then you need to find a solution to the problem as soon as possible.
How to Fix Vine Weevil Infestations
If you have a garden, you probably already know that vine weevils are real pests. In fact, they’re one of the biggest insect pests afflicting greenhouses, nurseries, and gardens. They’re small black or dark gray beetles, sometimes called the black vine weevil.
The adult vine weevil is known as “walking tobacco” due to the fact that they leave tracks in the ground after they pupate. These tracks can be quite long – as much as four feet!
The vine weevil is a problem all across the world. In North America, they’re an issue for many grape growers. Vine weevils tend to be attracted to certain types of plants. They prefer grapes, but other plants, such as wheat and corn, aren’t so welcoming.
When looking for the best way to get rid of vine weevils, you must first locate the infected plants. Look for sickly plants and leaves with notches in them. If you know where the vine weevils are feeding, you’ll be able to locate them much easier. After you’ve pinpointed the infestation, get rid of the adult vine weevils and the larvae immediately.
Getting rid of vine weevils
To deal with vine weevils, you can try to dig around the affected plant, removing as much debris as you can. But keep to the underground stems so that the weevil won’t be able to follow your movement through the soil. You should also check under rocks and gravel. You may need to break up large stones or chunks of stone to get the weevil to stop walking on them. This method does work on woody plants, but not so much on grass.
Once you’ve cleared the area where the vine weevil is coming from, you should take a close look at the soil around the plant. Make sure the soil is moist. A good soil drench can help make the area less welcoming to this insect.
Since the adult vine weevil can’t fly, many plant owners use sticky traps to capture the garden pest. Place glue traps around the base of any infested plant. Take care to keep these traps out of reach of children and pets. The glue should trap the adult beetle and keep them from laying more eggs and doing more damage to your lawn and garden.
You can also try insecticidal soap and insecticide spray. Neem oil can also be effective. Be sure to dilute the neem oil so it doesn’t damage plants.
Getting at the root of the problem: vine weevil larvae
The adult black vine weevil will lay their eggs in soil where the larvae have access to the plant’s roots. Then the weevil larvae feed on the roots, causing severe damage to the host plant. The vine weevil grub is sometimes called a root weevil because of this.
So, how do you fix a vine weevil larvae infestation? One way is to remove the plant, and then repot it. When removing the plant from its pot, inspect the root ball. Scrape the plant with a knife so that you can get rid of any remaining vine weevil grubs.
When you’re growing plants in pots, you should keep in mind that vine weevil larvae and grubs can remain in the pot. So if you plan to use the same container to pot another plant, or even to repot the same plant, take care to thoroughly clean the infected plant’s pot. Or else the eggs can spread to your new potting.
If you can’t repot your plants, you can try introducing parasitic nematodes to your affected plants. Beneficial nematodes are a safe biological control. They rescue your roots by feeding on the vine weevil grubs. This is a great vine weevil control option for gardens.
How to Kill Cabbage White Caterpillars Fast
The cabbage white caterpillar is among one of the most damaging garden pests. They seem to be drawn to the cabbage plant, but these pests attack all sorts of vegetables including broccoli, leafy greens, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.
The cabbage white caterpillar eventually becomes the cabbage white butterfly of course. It’s also sometimes referred to as the cabbage moth or white butterfly. The adult butterfly might look pretty, but the cabbage white caterpillar is an unwelcome pest.
Cabbage white caterpillar life cycle
The lifespan of a cabbage white caterpillar can range from 35 to 45 days depending on many factors. The caterpillar can even hibernate during the winter months. This means that in order to control this garden pest you’ll need to take preventive measures so that they don’t infest your garden in the first place. Most people only find out about this garden pest when they discover cabbage worm damage.
During their life cycle, white butterfly caterpillars eat various types of plant materials such as stems, leaves, and fruits. They become butterflies and deposit more eggs on plants. Then the cycle begins again when the larvae begin to chow down on your garden.
Methods for removal
Since cabbage white worms tend to cluster when they feed, if you suddenly spray your garden with harsh chemicals, you’ll end up with a garden full of dead white caterpillars. So it’s important to prevent the insect infestation in the first place.
Once you’ve spotted them, it’s a matter of getting rid of them. One method is to spray the pests with garlic spray. Garlic repels this pesky insect, so it’s an effective but safe method. Another option is insecticidal soap. Simply wash your plants with this special soap.
You could also try spraying the host plant with vinegar or coating them in neem oil. But be sure to dilute your neem oil to prevent damage to plants.
To kill off the cabbage moth caterpillar population naturally, you can introduce a beneficial insect. The natural predator to the cabbage white caterpillar is the parasitic wasp. Its larvae feed on the cabbage white caterpillar.
You can also choose a natural method like adding deterrent plants to your garden. Cabbage white caterpillars don’t like onions or garlic. So add these veggies to your garden to keep those caterpillars away. All of these methods should be used before any pesticides are applied to the garden.
If you have a problem with this pest eating your kale or bok choy, then it may well be time to get rid of those pests. You can try to spray them with a weak insecticide called pyrethrin. This will kill them instantly and will prevent them from coming back. You could also seek advice from an organic garden consultant if these methods don’t get your caterpillar problem under control.
What to do about Tomato Moths
If you’re like most gardeners, you’re probably not sure what to do about tomato moths. These insect pests don’t usually cause any harm to the tomato leaf or stem. They simply feed on the tomato fruit. This has earned them the names:
- tomato fruitworm
- tomato caterpillar
- tomato hornworm
The tomato worm eventually becomes the tomato moth, otherwise called the tomato hornworm moth. These moths will travel from host plant to host plant sucking tomato plant juices and causing damage. In most cases, nearly the entire tomato fruit crop will eventually be ruined.
To save your tomato crop from this insect infestation, there are a few different things that can be done. One of the most popular methods of controlling this pest is the use of worm repellents and exterminators.
There are many good products on the market made from effective but harsh ingredients. These sprays contain dangerous active ingredients. But they have been proven to be very effective at eliminating these pests.
Another method of control is by making sure that you don’t let your plant get infested with tomato hornworms in the first place. For this, you should make sure that you don’t overfeed your plant. When you overfeed your plant, it creates a situation in which the plant becomes stressed and prone to damage.
The last thing you can do to control this problem is to remove any leaves that may be infected with moth worms. Typically, if you see dead leaves on your plant, this is a sign that the moths have taken hold. You can easily remove these leaves by hand or with a pair of garden shears.
If you’re still not able to control this problem, then you may want to look into using natural alternatives. Some of these options include natural pesticides such as lavender oil or diatomaceous earth. Both of these natural pesticides work by interrupting the food chain of the pests. They’ll either starve them or they’ll simply die off naturally.
Another safe but effective option is introducing beneficial insect populations to your tomato garden. These are natural enemies of the tomato moth worm. Some beneficial species include the green lacewing and the parasitoid wasp. These insects feed on the tomato horn worm moth.
Getting more help
These methods can be very effective at getting rid of tomato moths. However, they aren’t the best option when it comes to dealing with a severe infestation. For this, you may want to seek out professional pest control assistance. If you find that you’re unable to control your tomato moth problem on your own, then you should definitely consider calling in an expert.
How to Remove Rose Slugs from Your Garden
If you grow rose bushes, you’re probably no stranger to the rose slug, sometimes called the rose snail. The rose slug is actually not a slug at all. It’s technically sawfly larvae.
The sawfly is a flying insect that typically serves as a pollinator. Sawflies themselves don’t bother rose bushes. Sawfly larva, on the other hand, can be a real issue for rose gardens.
The adult sawfly will lay its eggs in the soil near rose bushes. The tiny grub hatch in the soil sucking plant debris and nutrients from the roots. Then the larvae crawl up the rose plant and chow down on rose leaf tissue. The slug can cause a lot of damage to the leaves, not the flower bud.
Contrary to popular belief, the rose slug doesn’t munch on rose blossoms. Sawfly larvae feed almost exclusively on rose leaves. They can even skeletonize leaves, leaving them maimed and unhealthy. If you have a rose slug infestation, you’ll soon see a lot of rose leaf damage.
Preventing an infestation
A proven method is prevention. A healthy rose bush is less susceptible to severe damage than a sickly, frail rose bush. One way to encourage a healthy bush is to plant it in a sunny area. Roses particularly like morning sun. The other boost to a rose bush’s health is soil. Roses like loose soil with plenty of organic matter.
Another way to prevent a plant from being eaten by snails is to keep it moist and protect it from the elements. The best way to do this is to protect the soil around the plant by covering it with compost. In the winter, protect your rose bush by wrapping it in burlap to provide a warm place for the roots to receive moisture.
You can also try pruning your rose bush. One species of sawfly lays its eggs in the crevice where the rose stems branch out. So if you prune these branches away, you’ll be separating the larvae from their food source. This will prevent the next generation from taking over your garden.
Getting rid of rose slugs
If your infestation isn’t too severe, you can simply pluck the rose slugs from your roses. If there are too many for you to pick away by hand, then consider insecticidal soap. Cover the host plant with the specialized soap mixed with water. Don’t rinse right away after application. Wait several minutes and then rinse your rose bushes. Insecticidal soap works immediately.
Some gardeners use the beneficial insect approach to rose slug control. To combat your rose slug problem, use slug predators. These are natural enemies that do an effective job controlling this pest problem.
Killing Grasshoppers Naturally
There are some excellent natural ways to kill off the aphids that invade your garden. These insects are a nuisance to you and your plants. They not only cause your plants to look bad, but they also eat your flowers and can even kill off your plant life altogether.
Fortunately, there are natural ways to control these pests. The natural approach is simple, effective, and inexpensive.This is an approach that should be tried before you resort to chemical pesticides.
One natural approach involves introducing beneficial insect populations and other grasshopper predators around your home. These natural predators will control the grasshopper infestation from getting to your vegetable garden, ornamental plants, and other crops. The more of these that you have in your area, the less chance there is of a grasshopper infestation.
Killing grasshoppers naturally isn’t too difficult. By using various species you can create a program that will work for your garden. Some predators include spiders, rodents, and birds.
To attract some bird species to your yard, for example, make your space more accommodating and welcoming. You can instal a birdhouse to encourage more birds, or you could place a birdbath in your garden. Birds are drawn to shallow pools of water for taking a dip and cleaning up. After taking a bath, these birds might dine on some grasshoppers.
Other methods for controlling these garden pests include sprays and solutions. Neem oil can be an effective deterrent and natural pesticide for this insect pest. Just dilute the neem oil with water in a spray bottle and spray the affected plant.
Gardeners also use garlic spray to banish a troublesome grasshopper population. You can also give apple cider vinegar spray and white vinegar spray a try. Grasshoppers won’t like these compounds and will leave your garden alone.
Another pest control method is hot pepper spray. It’s a great grasshopper control method because grasshoppers can’t take the heat and won’t want to keep chowing down on your plants.
Removing Stink Bug Infestations
Are you having trouble with stink bugs in your home? If you want to know how to get rid of them, then this article is just for you. Read on for common methods of eliminating them. After reading this article, you should be able to easily rid your home of stink bugs.
Stink bugs are a common insect pest in North America. Though they aren’t dangerous to humans, and they don’t cause structural damage to property like termites, they do emit a foul odor. This unpleasant odor is even more unpleasant when they’re squished.
The brown marmorated stink bug is a type of stink bug that also eats crops, ornamental plants, vegetables, and fruit trees. This stink bug insect pest is both an agricultural pest and a general nuisance. But you’re most likely dealing with strictly the nuisance stink bug species, the common stink bug.
Preventing stink bug invasions
When the colder weather begins to set in, you might find yourself with a stink bug infestation. One of the best solutions to a stink bug problem is to prevent them from entering your home in the first place. Often the best pest control option is prevention.
In order to prevent the adult stink bug from invading your home, you first have to make sure your home is well sealed. Check crevices for cracks where these pests can enter and lay their eggs. Seal attic vents, and survey crawl spaces for any gaps in your home’s foundation.
You should keep doors closed, close windows without screens, and inspect screens for any tears. Patch those tears if you find some. If your house has any openings, these pest insects will take it as an invitation, and you’ll have a stink bug invasion on your hands.
Getting rid of the pest
If some stink bugs end up in your home anyway, despite your efforts, then you’ll need to remove them. If you want to get rid of them in the most efficient way possible, you need to first locate all their hiding spots. Once you’ve found one, you need to spray it with insecticide and let it sit for a couple of days.
Afterward, you should use a bug bomb in order to completely eliminate the remaining population. Be sure to clean up these areas with dish soap and water to prevent children or pets from coming in contact with the dangerous chemicals.
Using chemical-free methods
One way to track them is to look for the signature stinkbug yellowish stain. If you find these small stains in your home, you have a stink bug problem. But if you don’t want to use harsh pesticides when you find you have stink bugs, you can try neem oil. Fill a spray bottle with water and neem oil and spray stink bugs and the areas where they’ve hidden.
You can also place sticky trap sets around your property. Stink bugs get caught in them and die off. This option is a great way to reduce stink bug activity.
Another method of stink bug control is simply vacuuming them up. Careful with this one though! If you smash them, they’ll release their strong stinky smell.
If you follow these tips, you’ll surely be successful in keeping your home stink bug free. The longer you let an infestation go, the harder it’ll be to stop it later on down the line. So start eliminating stink bugs now.
Dealing with Sawfly Larvae in Greenhouses
Most people have probably never heard of sawfly larvae, but in some cases dealing with the insect can be more of a problem than the plant it feeds on. The scientific name for the sawfly is Diplocarpon rosae. The sawfly is also sometimes called the gooseberry sawfly. This species of sawfly is a common greenhouse pest.
If your plants are being attacked by these pests you’ll have very little of the beautiful foliage you were hoping for. So let’s take a look at how to deal with sawfly larvae in greenhouses.
One of the first steps in dealing with sawfly larva is preventing them from infesting your plants in the first place. Preventing pests to begin with means that if you know one plant has an issue, then you should be able to act quickly to prevent it from spreading to other plants. This is especially true in greenhouses.
For example, in order to prevent sawfly larvae from hatching, you could get on schedule for regularly using insecticide. You can find some great botanical insecticides at your lawn and garden store.
You can also regularly spray plants with a strong stream of water. This helps remove any sawfly eggs that may have been laid on your plants.
Getting rid of sawfly larvae
Another thing you can do is to treat the leaves of the plant with a strong insecticide. This should kill any larvae that are currently living on the plant and you can just spray the whole thing off to give your plants a fresh start.
To deal with sawfly larvae in your greenhouse, you can also try insecticidal soap. Spread the soap over plant leaf tissue along with water. Then rinse the leaves and stems. Insecticidal soap works immediately.
Another method is neem oil. Simply add neem oil to a spray bottle and dilute it with water. You can then spray the neem oil solution on any infected plants.
Introducing beneficial insect populations is another effective pest control method. The green lacewing is a natural predator of the sawfly and can help you keep your sawfly larvae population under control.
To learn more about dealing with sawfly larva, mites, and other insects in your garden, subscribe to a garden magazine. You can also search online for some very informative publications about gardening, nature, and the environment.
Other pests such as aphids and spider mites are also worth looking out for. If you have any problems with mites, you should make sure you’re aware of how to deal with them before they spread to your other plants.
How to Kill Woolly Beech Aphids
Beech trees are usually pretty hearty trees with few insect pest species that bother them. But the tree does have one major pest: the woolly beech aphid. The woolly aphid ignores typical garden plants. It only bothers one host plant, and that, unfortunately, is the beech tree.
If the wooly beech aphid population becomes too large, it can cause a problem for the beech tree. When the aphid infestation becomes too severe, it can even kill the tree.
The wooly aphid insect secretes a sticky substance called honeydew as it feeds. These insect pests usually cluster on the underside of the plant leaf tissue, but will leave honeydew all over the leaf. This sticky substance allows sooty mold fungus to grow. The sooty mold blocks sunlight from the leaf, ultimately starving the tree, leading to damage if not eventual death.
Getting rid of wooly aphids
So how do you manage a large woolly aphid colony? The first method you should consider trying is probably the easiest. Simply spray your beech tree with a strong stream of water. The water dislodges woolly aphids and removes them.
You can take a typical garden hose and add a specialized nozzle to create more water pressure and a stronger stream. Specialized power washer equipment could also be used. Just be sure to keep the pressure lower so that the water steam isn’t too strong so as to cause leaf or twig breakage to the tree.
While spraying your tree with water quickly and safely removes woolly aphids, it doesn’t get rid of them for good. A longer term solution would be introducing natural predators. You can keep aphid numbers low and keep them low over a longer period of time with beneficial insects.
Some of these natural predators include the lacewing, lady beetle, and the parasitic wasp. These natural enemies can manage your aphid population for you.
Using sprays and soaps
If your beech tree is relatively young and not too big, consider using insecticidal soap. Cover the beech plant with the specialized soap mixed with water. Don’t rinse right away after application. Wait several minutes and then rinse your tree. Insecticidal soap works immediately.
You can also give neem oil a try if your tree isn’t too big. Dilute neem oil with water and place the mixture in a spray bottle. Spray the tree’s leaves with the solution, and you should be able to keep your woolly beech aphid infestation under control.
The last resort in controlling a woolly aphid problem is using a strong chemical insecticide. These come in the form of sprays that can be applied to the plant. The spray will kill any insect that comes into contact with it. It’s important to note that although this may kill the aphids, it may also kill any of your beneficial populations as well.
How to Kill Garden Earwigs Safely
The earwig, also called the pincher bug, is a common garden insect. The earwig population usually isn’t considered a terrible insect pest problem because they sometimes serve as beneficial insects in gardens since they eat aphids, snails, and slugs.
Typically you only have a problem when an earwig population gets out of control and becomes an earwig infestation. When you begin to see a lot of earwig damage in your garden, then it might be time to turn to some methods of curbing your earwig problem.
Preventing earwig infestations
The first thing you can do is keep your garden or garden bed tidy. Earwigs love debris and lots of organic matter. They’re drawn to moist, covered areas with plenty of mulch and leaf litter. If you’ve got potted plants in your yard or garden, the adult earwig will find them.
So if you have a compost pile, make sure to keep it away from garden areas with plant life that you don’t want earwigs to eat. You can also cover your compost pile or purchase a special covered barrel to keep earwigs from hiding in your compost.
Try to keep your lawn and garden as cleaned up as possible. Remove any decaying plant material that you can. Reducing welcoming areas for earwigs will help keep their populations under control.
Setting earwig traps
Another safe and effective method for earwig pest control is trapping them. It’s easy to set an earwig trap and you don’t have to worry about getting rid of too many at once and throwing off the balance of your garden ecosystem.
Dampen some newspaper or packing paper and roll it up. Place these wet paper rolls at the base of any plant where you’ve discovered earwig damage. The pest is a nocturnal insect, meaning it feeds at night and will look for moist shelter during the daytime. This means that when the garden pest is done eating up your ornamental plants, they’ll take a break in your DIY earwig trap. In the morning, you can come and harvest your paper rolls. You’ll find you’ve trapped quite a few earwigs.
Another type of trap for earwig control is the sticky trap. Earwigs creep and crawl, so they’ll soon become stuck in the gluey adhesive. You can place these traps for earwigs indoors and in moist areas. Just remember to keep these traps away from pets and children.
Using non-toxic pesticides
You can also try adding diatomaceous earth to the soil in areas of your garden where you’ve seen earwigs or damage done by earwigs. Just sprinkle some diatomaceous earth and let it get rid of the problem pests. You may need to reapply it though. Diatomaceous earth loses its ability to affect earwigs when it becomes wet because it works by drying the insect out and absorbing its oils.
If you’re looking for a harsher, more immediate option, you can try rubbing alcohol. Combine rubbing alcohol with equal parts water and pour the mixture in a spray bottle. You can spray this homemade insecticide on your plants, and it should kill any earwigs that come in contact with it.
Try the solution out first on a small section of your affected plant, like one leaf, to make sure the alcohol mixture doesn’t damage your plant.
How to Remove Cabbage Looper Caterpillars from Your Garden
The cabbage looper caterpillar is a common vegetable garden pest, especially if you grow its favorite meal: the cabbage plant. The insect pest also likes to eat other cole crops like leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and other brassica plants.
This cabbage pest, sometimes called the cabbage worm, can do quite a bit of damage to a cabbage head. The large green caterpillar can consume entire leaves and can cause significant damage to your garden.
The cabbage moth life cycle
With all that nutrition from eating your veggies, the cabbage worm eventually becomes a cabbage moth, also called the diamondback moth. The cabbage looper moth lays its eggs which become larvae. The larvae eventually grow to become the cabbage looper caterpillar. Becoming an adult moth is its final stage in its lifecycle.
The cabbage looper is much like other cabbage pests, including the cabbage white butterfly in its caterpillar stage of life. If you’ve got cabbage worm damage, you’ll want to do something about it to save your cole crops. You can get rid of cabbage looper caterpillars much like you can other cabbage pests.
Safe and organic methods
One method you could try is using row covers. You can find this specialized gardening equipment at farm stores or lawn and garden centers. Row covers won’t get rid of current cabbage looper caterpillar infestations, but they’ll help you prevent future infestations. They do this by keeping adult moths from laying eggs on your garden plants.
If you’re looking for a completely safe method with very little environmental impact, you could try picking the cabbage loopers off your plants by hand. Since cabbage looper caterpillars can grow so large, they’re easy to spot. At its latest stage before reaching full maturity when it becomes a moth, the caterpillar can get up at two inches long!
There are a few drawbacks with this approach though. It can be time consuming. It also doesn’t keep more cabbage looper caterpillars from moving in.
A faster but effective method is insecticidal soap. Cover your plants with the specialized soap mixed with water. Don’t rinse immediately after application. Wait several minutes and then rinse the soap off. Insecticidal soap works right away.
If you’d like another immediate option with easier application, you could try this method. Bacillus thuringiensis is a biological pesticide. It’s a mixture of a type of soil-dwelling bacteria. This bacteria is toxic to certain insects when they eat it, including the cabbage worm.
You can purchase a bottle at your local lawn and garden store or nursery. Spray the bacterium on your vegetable garden and allow the pesticide to work.
Now you know how to fix the cabbage looper caterpillar problem you may be facing. Try these methods to keep this pest from destroying your vegetable garden. Don’t let the cabbage looper caterpillar get to your cabbage before you do!
Killing Cucumber Beetles
Many gardeners each year deal with this insect pest invading their crops. True to their name, the cucumber beetle feeds on cucumbers. But the beetle also feeds on other cucurbit crop plants like melons and squash.
There are also two types of cucumber beetle: the striped cucumber beetle and the spotted cucumber beetle. These pests are often found feeding alongside the squash bug.
The female adult cucumber beetles lay eggs on the underside of a plant’s leaf. Then the larvae feed on the roots and later the stem, fruit, and leaves of the infected plant. Many farmers refer to the larvae as the corn rootworm. A cucumber beetle infestation can be devastating, especially to a young plant.
These insect pests are common garden pests and can wreak havoc on your cucumber plants and other cucurbit plants. They not only eat your cucumbers but they also carry a harmful disease called bacterial wilt. Fortunately, there are several ways to get rid of cucumber beetles.
One safe and effective method is to use beneficial insects. Some natural predators that feed on the cucumber beetle include:
- The wolf spider
- The soldier beetle
- The ground beetle
These beneficial species will work at controlling the cucumber beetle population in your garden naturally.
You can also introduce parasitic nematodes. Beneficial nematodes will kill the cuke beetle larvae in the soil where they feed on plant roots. The nematode method works great. But remember this only affects cucumber beetle larvae, so you may also need to address your adult beetle problem too.
Getting rid of cucumber beetles
One immediate, safe method for removing adult beetles is to vacuum them up. It might sound silly, but you can vacuum cucumber beetles to get them off your crops. If your veggie garden isn’t too large, this is an excellent option. You can either purchase a specialized piece of equipment, or you can use the reverse setting on a leaf blower and collect the beetles in an attached bag.
Another way to get rid of adult beetles is to use insecticidal soap. Apply the special soap to your plants. Allow the soap to sit on the plants for a few minutes and then rinse it away with water. This method works immediately.
Neem oil is another effective method. Dilute neem oil in a spray bottle and coat your crops. You can also pour diluted neem oil into the soil to affect larvae hiding beneath the surface. This is a great organic option many farmers and gardeners use.
The cucumber beetle can be a real nuisance, but your crop doesn’t have to suffer. Follow the above-mentioned methods and get rid of those beetles. Remember, it’s better to act fast with cucumber beetles. Bacterial wilt is devastating and spreads quickly from host plant to host plant. Stop cucumber beetles as soon as you can.
How to Deal with Mealybugs
Many gardeners find mealybug infestations both in their houseplants and in their outdoor plants. Sometimes called a scale insect, this pest can cause great damage in homes, gardens, and greenhouses.
Mealybugs are small insects that feed on plant sap and vital juices. They can easily infest ornamental plants, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens if left without intervention. The mealy bug can be found in soil, decaying leaves, plant stems, and compost. There are several types of mealybug, including the longtailed mealybug, the root mealybug, and the citrus mealybug.
The adult female mealybug doesn’t have legs or wings. She feeds and lays eggs while the male mealybug can crawl and fly, but he doesn’t feed. He only lives briefly to fertilize eggs.
The female mealybug not only feeds on the plant, damaging it, but the plant pest also secretes a waxy substance called honeydew. In large colonies, you can see honeydew accumulation on the infected plant. It’s not just unsightly, it’s dangerous for the host plant. The honeydew allows sooty mold to grow on the plant. Sooty mold is a fungal infection that can kill the affected plant.
A mealybug infestation can do a lot of damage to the infested plant. Fortunately, there are some ways you can deal with mealybugs.
One of the first things you can do is clean up and remove elements that promote mealybug populations. Some species of mealybug also infest soil, while others can survive in organic matter such as compost. If you see any signs of mealybugs or other insects in your potted plants, remove those plants from the others. You can also prune branches, leaves, and stems that you see have become overrun with mealybugs.
When an infestation takes hold, it’s important to remove all pieces of debris from the area. Mealybugs are often found in piles of leaf litter, compost, flower pots and other containers, and soil. Clean up these areas, and discard any infested materials like leaves or pots.
Introducing natural predators
An effective, organic option for your outdoor plants is the introduction of beneficial insects. These are natural enemies of the mealybug. A fantastic mealybug destroyer is the lady beetle. Some other beneficial species include:
- Green or brown lacewing
- Minute pirate bug
- Parasitic wasp
These natural predators feed on mealy bugs. They can be your eco-friendly pest control system. You can purchase mealybug destroyers at specialty lawn and garden stores.
Using soaps and oils
Other methods include soaps and oils. Horticultural oil is sometimes used to control mealybug infestations as is insecticidal soap. Cover your plants with the specialized soap mixed with water. Don’t rinse immediately after application. Wait several minutes and then rinse off the soap. Insecticidal soap works right away.
Neem oil is another method that can work immediately. Dilute neem oil with water and add to a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on any infested outdoor plants and indoor plants.
It’s worth noting that pesticides are sometimes discouraged as a method for mealybug infestation control. This is because the mealybug’s waxy coating can protect the insect and lessen the effect of the chemicals. On top of it, those harsh agents can harm mealybug predators and other beneficial insects. It’s recommended that gardeners enlist the help of beneficial insects before resorting to systemic insecticide.
How to Get Rid of Slugs and Snails
Garden snails and slugs are common bugs found all across the globe. They’re depicted in storybooks and folkart as cute woodland dwellers. But the slug and snail are two slimy pests that not only cause damage to garden plant life, but they’re also dangerous to humans.
The snail and slug can be extremely dangerous to humans and pets because they carry diseases which they transmit through contact with their slimy skin or with their hallmark slime trail. One possibly fatal disease is eosinophilic meningitis. So always wear gloves when coming in contact with a slug or a snail.
Slug and snail pests leave a nasty slime trail, spread disease, and ravage gardens. Luckily, there are several ways to fix your snail and slug problem.
Manually removing snails and slugs
The first (and probably the scariest way) is the manual collection method. This involves snatching the garden pest away from your precious plants using your hands! But make sure you always wear gloves to protect your skin.
The biggest issue with this method is the safe handling of the garden slug or snail. These creatures can be dangerous and when handled improperly, can be fatal. This is the reason why many people prefer to use bait and traps instead of manually gathering them all throughout the garden. This method is time-consuming, and safe for the environment but not always safe for humans.
Setting bait and traps in your garden bed is an effective way of dealing with slugs and snails. There are several types of bait available on the market today.
One effective bait and trap method for dealing with slugs and snails is the beer trap. Beer works like snail bait. Take a small container, fill it part way with beer, and bury it up to the brim in the soil next to vulnerable plants. Then when a snail or slug comes along, attracted to the smell of beer, they’ll fall into the trap and become stuck. Make sure the sides of the slug trap container are tall enough that the pest can’t escape.
Using natural predators
Another way of dealing with a slug infestation is by introducing or encouraging natural predators. The nematode is great at helping you prevent and manage slug damage. Add nematodes to water and pour the mixture into the soil around your garden.
Toads and birds are also natural enemies of the garden snail and slug. So are turtles and ground beetles. These slug predators feed on the slimy pests and will work to keep your plant life, pets, and family safe. They’re a wonderful organic slug control method.
Snails and slugs like their hiding spots. Make sure slug enemies can access the slugs and snails by keeping your garden cleaned up with few places for the slimy pest to hide from predators. Keep areas with flower pots clear of leaf litter and compost. Remove fallen logs and keep potted plants away from other vulnerable plants. If the pest can easily hide from its predators, then the predators won’t be of much help.
Using other methods
And of course there is salt, the famous snail and slug killer. Sprinkle a small amount of salt near your plant life. This creates a barrier that a slug or snail can’t cross without dying. Just be careful not to use too much too close to susceptible plants, as certain plants can be adversely affected by too much salt. If you’re concerned about using salt, you can use diatomaceous earth instead. It works in a similar way.
Other elements work by repelling slugs and snails too. Try planting a deterrent garden plant like rosemary or fennel. Slugs and snails don’t like how they smell, so these plants will keep the slimy pests away.
You may have heard that placing crushed eggshells around your plants will keep snails and slugs away. This actually isn’t true. Eggs don’t deter these pests. Slugs and snails can still crawl along egg shells without getting trapped or injured most of the time.
Another myth is that coffee grounds will get rid of slug and snail problems. This also isn’t true. Stick to the methods here and you should be able to safely keep your garden slug and snail free.
How to Kill Flea Beetles
The flea beetle is a common pest in vegetable gardens all across the US. This insect pest is a small black bug with long legs, perfect for jumping. There are many species of flea beetles. Some include:
- The striped flea beetle
- The crucifer flea beetle
- The potato flea beetle
- The western potato flea beetle
- The tobacco flea beetle
- The eggplant flea beetle
- The corn flea beetle
- The palestriped flea beetle
- The horseradish flea beetle
You will certainly know if your garden has a flea beetle infestation because flea beetle damage is distinct. The adult flea beetle chews tiny holes all over leaves, stems, and flowers. The flea beetle feeds on a wide variety of vegetable plants including cole crops, beans, eggplant, potatoes, and corn. These insect pests can stunt growth or even kill entire plants.
To save your vegetable crop, you’ll need to control the flea beetle population infesting your garden plants.
Prevention is often the best method. One way to prevent a flea beetle infestation is to keep leaf litter to a minimum and remove any plant debris, especially from cole crops.
Keep your garden or fields free of compost piles.
These spaces are where adult beetles hide for the winter. If you make sure the adult flea beetle can’t make it through the winter, they can’t reproduce, and flea beetle larvae can’t feed on your crops. Thus, you break the cycle.
Another preventative measure is the trap crop method. A trap crop is essentially a decoy crop. You can plant this crop away from your main crop so that the flea beetle population will infest those plants instead.
Remember to plant your trap crop before your main crop. Flea beetles are attracted to whatever food source appears first. If you time it right, your flea beetle problem will infest your intended host plant. Then you can spray insecticide on your trap crop, killing the beetles before your main crop begins growing.
Using fast-acting methods
If you’ve already got some flea beetles you need to get rid of, you can try insecticidal soap. Cover your plants with the specialized soap mixed with water. Don’t rinse immediately after application. Wait several minutes and then rinse off the soap. Insecticidal soap works right away.
Neem oil is another fast-acting option for controlling flea beetles. Dilute neem oil with water and add to a spray bottle. Spray all leaves thoroughly, including the underside.
You can also treat the soil with entomopathogenic nematodes. Beneficial nematodes attack flea beetle larvae in the soil. They help keep flea beetles in check since the nematode will attack them before they make it to the adult stage in their lifecycle, when they do the most damage to vegetable gardens.
Other beneficial insects also attack adult flea beetle reproduction. The braconid wasp is a natural enemy of the flea beetle. Its larvae attack the flea beetle’s ability to reproduce by developing on the female flea beetle and feeding on beetle eggs.
How to Remove the Colorado Potato Beetle
If you grow potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, or other nightshade plants, you’re more than likely familiar with the Colorado potato beetle. This insect pest is so common for potato crop farmers that they often refer to the insect as simply “the potato bug.” A very similar-looking insect is often mistaken for the Colorado potato beetle, called the false potato beetle.
The Colorado potato beetle belongs to the leaf-eating beetle family, along with many other related beetles. Some include the:
- Cucumber beetle
- Flea beetle
- Mexican bean beetle
The potato beetle, the small black and yellow striped garden pest, can ruin a potato patch. It even eats sweet potato plants. It chews up the potato leaf tissue which can lower yields or even kill the plant. Its larvae also feed on the roots. To protect your potato patch, you may have to take measures to stop a Colorado potato beetle infestation.
Taking preventive measures
Preventative measures are the best measures sometimes. One such preventative action you can take is to plant a trap crop. This trap crop is a section of plants you intend for the beetle to infest and feed on. Plant it away from your main crop, before your main crop is set to sprout. This way the pest will be drawn to the decoy crop.
Once you see that the leaves have potato beetle damage, or you see the beetles themselves, you’ll know it’s time to kill the potato pest. Don’t use pesticides here. It’s okay if you destroy these decoy plants. You’ll have to ruin them in order to also get rid of the beetles. You’ll need to use a flamer and burn the trap crop.
If you’re looking for a less intensive method, try straw or hay. Many gardeners use straw mulch in their potato field or garden for Colorado beetle pest control. Before your plants begin to sprout up, take straw mulch or hay and spread it evenly over the ground. Make sure your straw mulch layer is at least two to three inches thick. This will help keep any overwintering beetles from reaching your crop.
Another method you can try is a neem oil spray. You can make your own neem oil solution by adding water to neem oil in a spray bottle and dousing any host plant. Or you can buy a product from a garden store or nursery with the same active insecticidal compound found in neem oil.
With the Colorado potato beetle, it’s really important to only use pesticides if absolutely necessary. It’s also important to rotate the pesticides used, as this beetle can quickly become insecticide-resistant. It’s recommended gardeners use other methods before resorting to pesticides and insecticides.
Enlisting beneficial insects
If you don’t want to use pesticides and insecticides all the time, you can get the help of beneficial insects to fix your beetle problem. One great beneficial species is the nematode. Beneficial nematodes are natural enemies to the Colorado potato beetle. They help you out by feeding on beetle larvae so that those pests don’t become adults and damage your potato plant crop.
Another method that helps keep the beetle populations in check is another of the natural predators, the lady beetle. You can also invite natural predators like the spined soldier bug and the lacewing. Remember though, if you use pesticides, you may harm your beneficial insect friends too.
How to Get Rid of the Mexican Bean Beetle
The Mexican bean beetle is a major bean crop pest in the American southwest, though its territory also stretches across the continental US. These garden pests belong to the leaf beetle family. Some other related beetles also include:
- Colorado potato beetle
- Japanese beetle
- Flea beetle
- Cucumber beetle
- Squash beetle
The Mexican bean beetle looks much like a ladybug (also called a lady beetle), except it’s orange instead of red. This garden pest can do severe damage to bean plants since both the adult Mexican bean beetle and its larvae feed on the plant leaf.
The adult female Mexican bean beetle lays egg clusters on the underside of the leaf tissue. Her eggs hatch and the Mexican bean beetle larvae feed on the bean leaf. Once they reach adulthood, they continue to feed on the bean plants. The larvae sometimes also feed on bean pods.
Because they feed on leaf tissue in all stages of their lifecycle and because the female can lay so many eggs every couple days, a Mexican bean beetle infestation can decimate a crop, reduce yields, and even kill bean plants.
This bean beetle insect loves to feed on soybean, kidney bean, pinto bean, and lima bean plants among others. This can mean big trouble for a gardener. To keep your bean plants safe, you’ll need to get rid of your Mexican bean beetle infestation.
If your garden isn’t too large, you can try this safe and effective method. It’s completely eco-friendly, though time-consuming. Inspect your plants for the orange adult beetle. They’re large enough to spot and pluck off the leaf using your hands.
You should also look for the Mexican bean beetle’s larvae and eggs on the underside of the leaf. They’re clustered together in a bright yellow-orange huddle. On a green leaf, these aren’t too difficult to spot. Scrape the eggs off the leaf or snap the leaf off from the host plant and discard.
Another totally natural method is using deterrent plants to fend off a bean leaf beetle infestation. The pest doesn’t like rosemary, so you can either pot or plant rosemary near your bean plants. The bean beetle also doesn’t like marigold plants. Place these nearby to help reduce Mexican bean beetle damage to your garden.
Another natural preventative measure is limiting places where the adult beetle can overwinter. They like to burrow into leaf litter and other compost. You can also till your garden soil in early spring. This will unearth and disturb any beetles protecting themselves from the cold.
If you’d like to get rid of beetles plaguing your bean plants immediately, you can try insecticidal soap. Cover your host plant with the special soap and let it rest. After a few minutes, apply water. You’ll need to be sure you coat both the upper and lower sides of the leaf.
Another quick-acting method is neem oil. Add neem oil to a spray bottle and dilute with water. If you prefer not to make your own spray, you can purchase neem oil sprays at a lawn and garden store.
Remember to thoroughly apply the neem oil solution to all sides of the leaf. Coating the entire leaf is important since the Mexican bean beetle eggs and larvae are on the underside of the leaf, while the adult feeds from the top.
For consistent, long-term Mexican bean beetle pest control, try introducing or encouraging beneficial insects. These Mexican bean beetle enemies are your friends.
Most ladybug species are fantastic natural predators. The parasitic wasp is also a threat to the bean beetle. Other predators are green lacewings and minute pirate bugs. These beneficial insects attack the Mexican bean beetle larvae.
If you want to get rid of Mexican bean beetle adults, you’ll need some other, larger predators. These include birds and toads.
How to Fix a Tarnished Plant Bug Problem
Do you grow strawberries, but you’ve noticed your fruit is distorted? Is strawberry plant growth stunted? Is your strawberry crop yield low? You might have a tarnished plant bug problem. The tarnished plant bug, also called the lygus bug, is a major pest for gardeners and farmers across North America.
This plant bug not only feeds on strawberry plants, though they’re a favorite meal. It also feeds on a wide variety of host plant species. This insect pest also likes to eat tomato plants, cotton plants, lima bean plants, and the list goes on. This pest is part of a large group of insects often called “true bugs,” along with other common pests like the stink bug.
If you’re a grower, you’ve probably noticed some tarnished plant bug damage to your vegetable crops. The insect pest’s larvae are mostly stationary, feeding on plant tissue. But the tarnished plant bug adult can fly, so they’re difficult to contain and can cause a lot of damage over a large area.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to limit damage to your crop and reduce tarnished plant bug populations.
Making your space uninviting
This pest likes weedy areas. They typically prefer tall weeds and crops like alfalfa. So one thing you can do is keep weeds away from your vegetable garden. If you have a large section of land, you can plant alfalfa away from your main crop to attract the adult tarnished plant bug away from your fruit and veggie plant life.
Since this plant bug also overwinters in leaf litter, keep your garden and fields as clear of plant debris as you can. This will give the plant bug fewer places to stay warm, so they’ll look for other spots to overwinter. This way they’ll be more likely to leave your crops alone.
Another option is trapping tarnished plant bugs. Since these bugs are small flying creatures, you can place sticky traps at various points around your garden. The idea is the tarnished plant bugs will fly into the sticky traps and become stuck. You can either hang sticky traps in foliage or attach traps to posts and plant those posts in and around your garden or fields.
Be sure to check on your traps to see if they’re working. You’ll also want to change out the traps for fresh ones once they become full. You’ll also want to ensure your traps remain sticky enough to keep the pest stuck.
Using other methods
Insecticidal soap can also keep tarnished plant bugs away. Apply the specialized soap to host plant leaf tissue. Take care to cover both sides of the leaf. Then rinse the insecticide soap off after a few minutes. This method works immediately. And it not only saves your crop from adult tarnished plant bugs, but it also kills the eggs and larvae.
If you’re still looking for more help in getting rid of tarnished plant bugs, you can turn to beneficial insects. These natural enemies of the plant bug can work as a natural pest control method. Bigeyed bugs, damsel bugs, and minute pirate bugs are natural tarnished plant bug predators. The parasitic wasp is another major predator.
How to Get Rid of Cutworms
Have you ever gone out to your vegetable garden in the morning and found your plant stocks have been cut down, lying in the soil? If so, you’ve probably got a cutworm infestation on your hands.
The cutworm is a moth in its caterpillar stage. The cutworm is just moth larvae. This insect pest is like a tiny lumberjack, cutting down your plant stalks. The adult moth is harmless. The real trouble is its larvae.
The adult moth lays its eggs in plant debris. Its eggs hatch in the soil and become the garden pest, the cutworm. Cutworm caterpillars leave the soil surface and attack plants by chewing at the base of their stocks. The worm cuts the plant down. Hence the name.
There are several cutworm species in a range of colors, including green, black, and pink. Some types include:
- Black cutworm
- Bronzed cutworm
- Dingy cutworm
- Variegated cutworm
- Army cutworm
- Winter cutworm
- Glassy cutworm
Cutworm damage is typically seen more commonly among young plants in the spring. Cutworms feed on a variety of plants, but they love to chew on certain plants like the tomato plant. To save your garden, you’ll need to take some action and reduce your cutworm population.
With these garden grubs, prevention is the preferred method. One approach to fixing your cutworm problem before it starts is to clear your garden of plant debris. This includes leaf litter, dead plant parts, fallen stocks, or decaying fruit. You’ll also want to keep your compost pile far away from your garden.
Since moths lay their eggs on plant debris, you’ll have fewer cutworm caterpillars if you have fewer places for the adult moth to lay its eggs.
You can also till your soil shortly before planting in early spring. This disturbs and kills off any moth eggs still hatching and any cutworm larvae developing in the soil.
It’s also advisable to bring potted plants in at night, since cutworms mostly feed at night. This will remove the opportunity for them to take over and do damage.
To keep cutworms who’ve survived these other efforts away from your seedlings, try this barrier approach. You can create a plant collar and place it around the affected plant. Be sure to bury the base so that worms can’t burrow beneath to access your plant.
You can use materials like aluminum foil or cardboard to create a cutworm collar. The material you use will need to be at least four inches tall to deter this pest. This method does a great job of protecting your little seedling plants from damaging cutworms.
Another barrier method that actually kills the cutworm is diatomaceous earth. Create a ring around the base of your plants using diatomaceous earth. You can purchase it at many lawn and garden centers. It works immediately and is very effective. Just remember that once it becomes wet, it doesn’t work.
Using natural predators
If you need some backup, especially for larger veggie plots, you can try introducing some natural predators to the cutworm. Some predators are beneficial insects. Beneficial insects like parasitic wasps and green lacewings can help you keep cutworm populations under control, since they prey on cutworm larva.
Another helper you can enlist is the beneficial nematode. These attack developing cutworm eggs and at their earliest stages. So they help you prevent damage in the first place as well. Sprinkle parasitic nematodes around your garden. This approach works best in early spring before you plant.
You can also try sprinkling bacillus thuringiensis over your garden soil. This is a bacterium that lives in the soil. It’s considered a biological pesticide. This will kill cutworms. You can buy it at many garden stores.
How to Deal with the Asparagus Beetle
It’s springtime once again and all across America, and the asparagus beetle has begun to take over many asparagus gardens. There are two types of asparagus beetle. One is the spotted asparagus beetle and the other is the common asparagus beetle. And you guessed it, the common asparagus beetle is more common.
Both types are small beetles with an oval body. The spotted beetle looks much like a ladybug (lady beetle), with red-orange coloring and black spots. The common asparagus beetle is primarily black with cream spots.
Both types feed exclusively on the asparagus plant. They like to eat all parts of the plant, including asparagus spears, asparagus leaves, asparagus berries, asparagus fronds, and asparagus fern.
Understanding the asparagus beetle life cycle
The adult asparagus beetle lays its eggs on the asparagus spears. The larvae feed on the asparagus leaf and eventually fall to the soil where they pupate. Then they emerge as the adult beetle and continue to cause damage to the asparagus crop.
Since this asparagus pest feeds on the asparagus plant for its entire lifecycle, this insect can create a lot of problems for your asparagus patch. But you’ve got options. There are some measures of asparagus beetle control that you can take.
Taking preventative measures
Prevention is key with both the common and the spotted asparagus beetle. The adult asparagus beetle overwinters in hollowed out asparagus shoots and other plant debris. It stays hidden for the winter and hidden from predators using leaf litter and other plant residue. So what you can do is keep your vegetable garden area cleaned up. Don’t make your asparagus patch welcoming.
You can regularly brush asparagus spears and ferns as well. Remember the adult beetle lays its eggs on the asparagus spear and fern. Take a broom or brush with stiff bristles and brush the asparagus beetle egg clusters from your asparagus. This way, the eggs won’t hatch, and you’ll have reduced the upcoming asparagus beetle population.
Controlling asparagus beetle numbers
Another method of population control is beneficial insects. These natural predators can keep your asparagus beetle problem under control for you. Some of these natural predators are the lacewing and ladybug, also called the lady beetle.
The ladybug looks much like the spotted asparagus beetle, so be careful not to get them mixed up. The ladybug has a rounded body while the spotted asparagus beetle has more of an oval body.
Another of the beneficial insects is the parasitic wasp. This wasp’s larvae actually feed on asparagus beetle larvae while the adult wasp attacks the adult beetle. These wasps can really help you deal with an asparagus beetle infestation.
Trying other methods
Neem oil is another solution many asparagus gardeners turn to when the garden pest gets out of control. Dilute neem oil with water and coat the entire asparagus plant. This works well in deterring both larvae and adult beetles. But remember neem oil might harm beneficial insects too. Pesticides should only be used as a last resort.
Another method is to try using the beneficial nematode. Nematodes work by killing the beetle larvae as they pupate in the soil. They attack both the spotted and the common asparagus beetle larvae. You can purchase beneficial nematode mixtures at garden stores. Simply sprinkle the nematodes throughout your asparagus patch.
How to Deal with a Wireworm Infestation
The wireworm, sometimes called the sugarbeet wireworm, is actually click beetle larvae. This larvae spends most of its life underground, feeding on crop plant roots. And its lifespan is unusually long: two to three years! That’s a long time for the pest to do a lot of damage.
If your vegetable crops are dying, stunted, or look sickly, you might be dealing with a wireworm infestation. You may also find wireworm damage on fruit tissue. The wireworm larvae feed on a lot of species of plants too. These are mostly a variety of vegetable crops like potato plants, onions, lettuce, corn, and sweet potato. Root crop plants like beets are also a target.
To save your fields from crop damage, you’ll need to take action to reduce or eliminate the wireworm population eating up your veggies. Wireworm control is difficult, but not impossible.
Getting rid of wireworms
Since a wireworm infestation is such a challenge, you may need some backup when dealing with your wireworm problem. Beneficial nematodes can come to your rescue. The predatory nematode is a natural predator of the wireworm insect pest.
You can purchase beneficial nematodes at most lawn and garden stores. Sprinkle the entomopathogenic nematodes throughout your vegetable garden or crop plot. Despite their tiny size, these little helpers can mount a hefty wireworm attack.
If you still need more help, birds are a great natural predator. Birds love to eat grub like the wireworm. So encourage birds to visit your garden or fields. You can make your space more inviting by setting up birdbaths or by installing birdhouses.
Another tool you can try out is trapping. Many gardeners use wireworm traps to save their potato crop. Take a potato and hollow it out. Place these potatoes throughout your garden, burying them in the soil. You can also use chunks of potato and place these throughout your garden.
Don’t forget to stick a marker or post where you’ve buried your bait so you don’t lose track. Since the wireworm loves to chow down on potatoes, they’ll be drawn to this trap and away from your plants. Then you can gather up these potato wireworm traps when they’ve attracted a number of worms and discard them.
Another trick of the trade is crop rotation. This means that you do your planting in different plots each season. Moving your plants around makes it harder for this pest to keep practicing its bad habit.
If you’ve found an infestation on one plant, make sure to remove it. This will help keep the pest from spreading to other plants.
How to Kill the European Corn Borer
If you’re a corn grower, then you’ve most likely heard of the corn borer. The European corn borer, also called the corn rootworm, arrived in New England only about 100 years ago. But it’s become one of the most destructive insect pests in the US.
It’s among the most major agricultural pests in North America. It can wreak havoc on corn crops, causing massive amounts of damage. The core borer can be really frustrating. Sadly, it not only feeds on corn. This insect pest also devours plants like potatoes, apples, and peppers.
Understanding the European corn borer life cycle
The European corn borer is related to the corn earworm and the fall armyworm, though they’re different species. The corn borer is actually moth larvae. These destructive larvae feed on corn leaf tissue and then work their way to the corn stalk and ears.
After they pupate, they continue to feed on the host plant. Finally, they become adult ecb moths, which lay their eggs on the corn stalk. Then the cycle begins all over again.
Many farmers turn to bt corn, also called bt maize, to deter corn plant pests. But you don’t have to change out your field corn for genetically modified crops. There are some things you can do to keep the European corn borer population under control.
Using beneficial species
To manage your corn borer infestation, you can try encouraging beneficial insects to take up residence near your sweet corn crop. These natural predators feed on ecb moth eggs, helping you keep the corn borer population from getting out of control. Some predators that can help rid your crop of corn borers are ladybugs and lacewings.
Some other beneficial insects feed on the European corn borer larvae in its caterpillar stage. These insects that can help you out are stink bugs, spiders, and hoverfly larvae.
Another approach is to use bacillus thuringiensis, a biological insecticide. This is an effective, quick-acting method for dealing with a European corn borer infestation.
Bacillus thuringiensis is a bacterium which creates a protein that’s toxic to certain species when they consume it. The corn borer consumes the bt toxin and dies off. You can purchase bacillus thuringiensis at lawn and garden stores. Simply sprinkle this compound all around your corn plant plot and let it get to work.
Using pheromone traps
Trapping is another method many farmers and gardeners use to get rid of the European corn borer. To capture the stalk borer, you have to capture it in its adult moth stage.
Adult ecb moths are drawn to pheromones. So you can use pheromone traps to capture the moth and stop it from producing more young larvae. The pheromones lure the moth into the trap, where it becomes stuck. You can place traps throughout your fields or garden. Check on your traps periodically. They should become full of trapped European corn borer moths.
These traps do require specific pheromones, so make sure you use the correct lures for your traps. You can purchase these pheromone traps from specialized horticultural sellers and some farm supply stores.
How to Get Rid of Squash Bugs
Squash bugs are an all-too common pest for many vegetable garden cultivators. The squash bug, anasa tristis, is a large type of squash beetle, often found feeding on squash plants along with the squash vine borer and the cucumber beetle. The squash bug is often confused for the stink bug, because they look very similar.
True to its name, the squash bug loves to chow down on squash. It feeds on other cucurbit plants like winter squash, summer squash, butternut squash, and zucchini, among others. They also like plants like watermelon and cucumber.
The squash bug life cycle
The adult squash bug lays its eggs on the plant leaf underside. The squash bug eggs are laid and soon hatch into squash bug nymphs, which also feed on the squash vine. Then the young squash bugs begin feeding soon, and the whole process begins again.
The squash bug feeds on the squash plant by using its mouth parts to suck plant juices from the squash leaf. This causes that part of the leaf to wither and die, leaving a brown patch that resembles bacterial wilt. Squash bug damage can severely impact the plant, even killing it.
So what can you do when you have a squash bug infestation? Read on to learn how to get rid of squash bugs and deal with this garden pest.
With squash bugs, as with many garden pests, prevention is key. One way to limit the squash bug population and prevent them from flourishing is to keep your garden cleaned up.
Remove plant debris and refrain from spreading mulch. The squash bug adult overwinters in compost and leaf litter, so make sure you don’t allow it a place to hideout for the winter. It also likes to hide for the night, so remove all garden debris to make your squash patch less inviting to these adult bugs.
Another preventative measure is crop rotation. Rotate crops to keep squash bugs from gaining easy access to your plants. You can also try using a trap crop. This is a decoy crop used to lure pests away from your main crop.
Many gardeners also try companion planting. This is a worthwhile method for repelling squash bugs. Tansy is a companion plant that deters squash bugs, so you could try planting this near your squash plants.
Suds, spray, and sprinkle
If you’re dealing with a current squash bug infestation and you need to reduce those numbers, you can try some non-toxic insecticide. Many gardeners use insecticidal soap. Apply this special soap to the host plant. Let it set and then rinse off the soap. This method works immediately.
Another immediate method is neem oil spray. You can make your own solution diluted with water. Or you can purchase a neem oil spray from a garden supply seller. Spray the neem oil solution on your affected plants. Be sure to coat the underside of the leaf and upper side as well since this insect hides its egg clusters on the leaf underside.
Sprinkling diatomaceous earth is another common solution to a squash bug problem. This method attacks the squash bug larvae. Since diatomaceous earth works by damaging the young squash bugs, you’ll be nipping this problem in the bud.
You can find diatomaceous earth for sale at many lawn and garden stores. Just sprinkle it around your garden. But remember, when it becomes wet, it loses its effectiveness.
If you still need some help, you might need to call in for backup. Beneficial insects can lend you a hand. These insects are natural predators to the squash bug. They can help keep the population under control naturally.
Some beneficial insect species include the bigeyed bug, the feather-legged fly, and the damsel bug. Invite these squash bug predators into your garden by cultivating plants that attract them.
How to Remove Corn Earworms
Much like the European corn borer and the fall armyworm, the corn earworm is a major agricultural pest plaguing farmers and gardeners across the US.
The corn earworm primarily affects corn crops like sweet corn and field corn. But this costly crop pest can also feast on soybean crops and grain sorghum. The corn earworm is also sometimes called the cotton bollworm and the tomato fruitworm, since it can infest cotton and tomato plants as well.
The corn earworm life cycle
This pest, heliothis zea, is actually the corn earworm moth in its larvae stage. The adult moth lays its earworm eggs on corn silk. After the corn earworm eggs hatch, the larvae move to the edge of the corn ear, feeding and excreting as they creep along. This brown, eaten up corn ear tip is the beginning of serious corn earworm damage.
The larvae will eventually make their way into the ear of the corn where they do costly damage to the plant. Eventually each will develop into a moth after falling to the ground and burrowing into the soil.
Some gardeners and farmers use corn hybrids like bt corn to deter corn earworms and other insect pests. But if you don’t want to cultivate genetically engineered crops, then you’ll have to take another route to curb earworm damage.
Traps and tricks
One way to prevent a corn earworm infestation is to plant a trap crop. A trap crop is like a decoy crop that attracts the pest away from your main crop. Once the corn earworm has infested your trap crop with its young larvae and eggs, you can use harsh insecticides or burn the trap crop.
Make sure you plant your trap crop away from your main crop. You’ll also want to time it right. Don’t plant your trap crop too close to when you plant your main crop.
Now that you’ve figured out how to deal with corn earworm larvae, you’re also going to need to address the earworm moths. A great corn earworm control tool is the pheromone trap. This contraption attracts adult moths and then traps them when they enter it. Trapping the earworm moths keeps them from laying more eggs on your corn crop.
You can place these traps throughout your corn patch. Make sure to check on the traps periodically. You can purchase these pheromone traps from specialized sellers. You’ll also want to be sure you use the correct pheromone lures to attract the right moths.
Another method you can employ is the use of beneficial insects. These natural enemies to the corn earworm are friends to you. Beneficial insects are predators that feed on the corn earworm. Some natural predators include:
- Parasitic wasps
- Soldier beetles
Encourage them to move in and make themselves at home in your corn patch. These insects will be happy to take corn earworms off your hands.
If you’re looking for another way to get rid of the corn earworm, you can try using bacillus thuringiensis, a sort of biological insecticide. It’s a bacterium that lives in the soil and is deadly to certain species when they eat it. It won’t hurt people or pets though.
Spread this mixture over your corn patch. It should do away with any moth larvae in the soil. You can purchase it at many lawn and garden centers.
How to Deal with Leafrollers
Have you ever noticed a leaf still hanging from its tree, rolled up like a little burrito? Then you probably saw a leafroller in its leaf nest.
The leafroller usually isn’t too destructive, but if you have a heavy leafroller infestation, then you may notice some damage to your fruit trees and other trees. Leaf roller pests are attracted to different plants, including fruit trees, oak trees, and other leaf-bearing foliage plants.
There are several species of leafroller insects. Some include:
- Fruittree leafroller
- Canna leafroller
- Pandemis leafroller
- Omnivorous leafroller
- European leafroller
- Lesser canna leafroller
- Obliquebanded leafroller
Understanding leafroller life stages
The leafroller is a larva belonging to the tortrix moth species. The adult moth lays its eggs on the leaves of fruit trees or ornamental trees. The hungry caterpillars, leaf rollers, feed on the host plant and wrap themselves in the plant’s leaves creating a cocoon.
Each leaf roll usually isn’t a big problem, but too many infected leaves can damage the plant. The insect pest can also cause fruit damage.
The leafroller caterpillar may not cause much damage besides the occasional rolled leaf, but if a leafroller infestation goes too far, your plants may endure damage and your fruit crop may be reduced. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to deal with leaf roller caterpillars.
Getting rid of leafrollers
A safe, non-invasive method is making your lawn and garden less inviting to the adult moth. Careful to keep plant debris picked up, compost piles covered far from your trees, and leaf litter raked up. This takes away hiding spots for the moth.
If you have a small grove of trees or a single apple tree, for example, you might be a candidate for this basic method. You can simply hand pluck any rolled leaves when you see them. Since a tightly rolled leaf hanging from your tree is a fairly distinctive sight, it’s easy to identify and remedy. Simply pick the damaged leaf, and discard, making sure you kill the caterpillar inside.
Encouraging natural predators
Looking for more of a hands-off method? You can try introducing beneficial insects. Beneficial insects are natural predators of the leafroller.
You can try planting various plants that attract these beneficial insects. This creates a welcoming environment. Some of these insects include parasitic wasps, lacewings, and assassin bugs.
Birds are another predator. They can eat up a lot of leafrollers and keep the population from getting out of hand. You can encourage birds to visit your space by putting out bird baths or building birdhouses.
Trying other methods
If you’re looking for a more immediate method, you can try bacillus thuringiensis. This is a bacterium that’s toxic to the leafroller larvae. It’s a type of biological insecticide.
You can buy bacillus thuringiensis at lawn and garden stores in different forms. For getting rid of the leaf roller, you can purchase this agent in a liquid form and spray it over your foliage. The leafroller larvae will die when they ingest it.
Another thing you can do is use pheromone traps to capture leafroller moths. The adult moths are attracted to the pheromone lures inside the traps. But once they get inside, they can’t get out. This prevents them from reproducing and laying more eggs. Thus you don’t have as many caterpillars feeding on fruit and causing damage to young leaves.
How to Get Rid of the Fourlined Plant Bug
Have you noticed small round brown spots on the leaf tissue of your favorite plant? You may have thought you were doing something wrong, or maybe your plant had become infected with a disease like leaf spot disease.
But look again. Do you see any banana-shaped egg masses on the infected plant stems? You may have a fourlined plant bug infestation on your hands.
About the fourlined plant bug
The four-lined plant bug, poecilocapsus lineatus, usually isn’t too much of a problem. They’re a common insect pest seen across the eastern half of the US and parts of Canada. The four lined plant bug is related to other bug species, including:
- Japanese beetle
- Tarnished plant bug
- Squash bug
This garden pest feeds on a wide variety of shrubs, woody ornamentals, flowering plants, foliage, crop plants, fruit trees, and garden vegetables. The four lined plant bug also likes to feed on herbaceous plants like mint and basil.
These insect pests use their sharp, piercing sucking mouthparts to suck the plant juice nutrients from the plant leaves, causing feeding damage to the host plant. When susceptible plants lose too much chlorophyll, they have a hard time converting sunlight to nutrients, and they may die.
Luckily, fourlined plant bug damage doesn’t have to kill your plants. You can get rid of fourlined plant bugs and minimize leaf damage.
One way to limit the fourlined plant bug population in your garden is to keep your space clear of plant debris and leaf litter. This insect uses leaf litter and other debris to overwinter.
If you make your space less welcoming, then these pests won’t stay all winter and then begin feeding on your foliage in late spring. Rake up dead leaves, remove fallen branches, and bury your compost.
You can also try encouraging beneficial insects to take up residence in your garden. These natural predators will manage a fourlined bug infestation for you, since they feed on larvae and eggs. Beneficial insects are a type of biological control. Some of these helpful insects are damsel bugs, bigeyed bugs, and pirate bugs. The parasitic wasp is another natural enemy.
If you’re looking for immediate methods, you can try some insecticides. This usually isn’t necessary with fourlined plant bugs. You should also keep in mind that some insecticides harm beneficial insects too.
One method is insecticidal soap. Cover the entire host plant and let the soap set for a few minutes. Then rinse with water.
Many gardeners also use neem oil. Neem oil is a non-toxic insecticide you can either purchase or mix at home. If you mix at home, make sure to dilute with water. You should also try a small area of the plant first to make sure the neem oil isn’t too harsh. Neem oil can sometimes burn plants.
You could also give horticultural oil a try. Horticultural oil works by suffocating the insect. It also works to kill aphid insects and spider mite pests. You can purchase this spray from a lawn and garden store. Spray all the affected foliage with this insecticide. But remember it can also harm some beneficial insects too.