Gardening is a lot of fun. But when pests strike, it can ruin the whole adventure. One minute your plants are merrily living out their carefully controlled lives, the next, they’re succumbing to some awful disease or pest. Here are some of the most common garden pests you’ll encounter, and what to do about them.
Red Spider Mites
Red spider mites are tiny insects that live inside leaves, gobbling up the leaf as food. Like many other pests, they leave a trail of destruction in their wake. The telltale sign that a plant is infected with red mites is yellow mottling of the leaves. You may also be able to see fine webs created by the mites themselves. The best solution to this particular problem is to use some form of biological control. If that doesn’t work, try organic sprays.
Gall mites are another common garden mite that can damage plants. Gall mites live off plant sap. Not only can they cause yellow mottling, but they also leave small red lesions on leaves that aren’t particularly attractive. Fortunately, gall mites are rarely fatal to plants, meaning that they can be tolerated in an organic garden.
Leaf Miner Damage
Leaf miner damage is caused by the larvae of moths and sawflies when they feed on the leaves as they grow. Although it’s not particularly attractive, leaf miner damage is harmless and won’t damage the rest of your garden once the insect has reached maturity. As a result, this particular problem can be left untreated.
Termite infestation is a major problem, according to TermiteControlPlans.com. Not only can it affect your home, but it can affect your garden too, especially if you are using a lot of wood chippings in your landscaping. Termites in your garden can soon become termites in your house. The current recommendation is to use pyrethrum pesticide and spray it on the visible termites in your garden. You can do this yourself, but to make sure that the job is done properly, it’s probably a better idea to use a professional.
The most visible sign that you’ve got a sawfly problem in your garden is leaf rolling. This is where the leaves roll up into little tube-like shapes, according to hgtv.com. Pick off the caterpillar by hand or spray the plant with bifenthrin or pyrethrum to get rid of the problem.
Tomato moths aren’t the sort of pest whose numbers grow exponentially and ruin an entire crop, but they can cause severe damage to fruits nonetheless. So long as they are few in number, you should be able to pick off the majority of tomato moth caterpillars with your hands.
Vine Weevils love to feed on leaves during the night. Weevils are flightless, but can still cause a lot of damage to your garden. Obvious signs of weevil attack include big, unexplained holes in the leaves the next morning. The best way to deal with a vine weevil problem is to introduce a biological control, like nematodes.