Gardening has brought unexpected joy into my life and I have greatly enjoyed sharing what I’m learning with you all over the past six years here at Blooming Anomaly. Even garden pests that have come and gone cannot stop me from enjoying my garden, as I’m sure yours. Here are ten common garden pests and how to get rid of them.
You may encounter more or less of these, based on where you live here in the United States or in other parts of the world. Here in Southern California, I have been very lucky to only encounter a few of these plant pests, but they have given me plenty of work to do!
Aphids are pretty common around here, so I’m sure you have had to deal with these garden pests. They usually go after my hibiscus plants. Aphids lay eggs on leaves, so if check underneath the leaves on your plants if you notice them drooping.
Aphids are tiny bugs that come in several colors such as black, white, and green. They love feeding off of flower buds and other plant parts.
If you only see a few, aphids are easy to get rid of. Just spray with a hose or insecticidal soap. You can also spray them with organic bug repellent. I have more ideas in my how to get rid of aphids post.
I recently caught a snail at the base of one of my rose bushes. I didn’t think much of it until I noticed that the leaves were starting to turn light green with dark splotches all over them. Various garden snails, such as the rose snail, can ruin your garden plants if you are not careful.
Use an organic insecticide and allow various critters in your yard that will gladly eat and get rid of these common garden pests for you before they destroy your plants.
Whiteflies are unpleasant garden pests that you may not discover until you accidentally bump into a plant, sending a huge cloud of these garden pests flying up. They like to make the underside of leaves their home.
Controlling garden pests such as whiteflies include allowing ladybugs and lacewings into your garden. You can also use various insecticides to keep these pests away from your yard.
I loved watching the squirrels play and run along the trees at our old apartment complex. I did not enjoy finding them digging holes in my pots, where they liked to hide their nuts.
Garden pest control for squirrels includes growing peppers, mint, and various bulbs. You can also allow your dog or cat to wander around to keep squirrels out of sight.
These cute common pests can destroy entire plants overnight. Rabbits love eating just about anything, as long as it’s within reach.
Keep rabbits away from your beloved plants by surrounding your plants with chicken wire and using rabbit repellents.
Another garden pest you need to watch out for is the grasshopper. Grasshoppers can wreak havoc on your yard if you let them.
Use garden pest control such as insecticides. Make sure to grow certain plants so that birds and other wildlife will make a home in your garden so that they will eat grasshoppers when they do come over for a visit.
Garden slugs are garden pests that leave a slimy residue wherever they go. They also love to eat plant leaves, which can be very unpleasant for tropical plant lovers.
You can get rid of a garden slug by adding ground beetles to your garden. You can also drop them in soapy water or on the outside of your garden to find other places to feed on. Organic repellents also work.
Various caterpillar types love making leaves their home and food. These common garden pests lay their eggs underneath leaves and feed off the leaves as they get bigger.
Pull off the caterpillars and eggs if you can. You might have to pull off entire leaves to keep the caterpillars and their larvae from damaging your entire plant.
Have you ever seen strange squiggly lines on your plant leaves and wondered what those are from? You aren’t just seeing things. What you are seeing is damage from leaf minors.
Leaf minor damage comes from the larvae of various bugs that are feeding off your plant’s leaves. These plant pests won’t do much damage, other than leaving a long, thin trail on those leaves.
You can add other bugs that will feed off the larvae to prevent leaf minor damage. You can also spray the leaves with an organic insect killer spray.
Deer are not much of a problem here, but if you live in a more remote area or near the mountains, I’m sure you’ve seen deer feeding off plants in your garden.
Add a tall fence around your yard and use deer repellants to keep these creatures away from your garden.
Controlling Garden Pests Organically
No matter how hard you try, a garden pest will try to make its home in your garden from time to time. Be ready with some insecticide that won’t harm your plants.
Also, create a garden space that allows for various wildlife to live and feed off your plants, while at the same time eating and keeping away the common garden pests mentioned above. Ladybugs are great bugs that keeps many plant pests away.
There are also plenty of plants you can grow to keep away garden pests. You can also set aside a part of your garden where you grow specific plants that these pests can feed off of, as long as you don’t mind!
Frequently Asked Questions About Common Garden Pests
Below are some frequently asked questions you may have about common garden pests and how to keep them out of your garden.
What is the most common garden pest?
The most common garden pest that gardeners often encounter is the aphid. Aphids are tiny insects that belong to the family Aphididae and are known for their ability to quickly reproduce and infest plants.
These common garden pests can be found on a wide variety of plants, including vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, and herbs.
Aphids feed on plant sap by piercing the stems and leaves with their mouthparts, which can weaken the plants and distort their growth. They reproduce rapidly, with females giving birth to live nymphs without the need for mating.
This quick reproductive cycle allows aphid populations to multiply rapidly, leading to widespread infestations if left unchecked.
Identifying aphids is relatively easy. They are usually small, soft-bodied insects ranging in color from green to yellow, brown, or black.
Some species may have wings, while others are wingless. Aphids often cluster on new growth, buds, and the undersides of leaves. As they feed, they excrete a sticky substance called honeydew, which can attract ants and promote the growth of sooty mold.
Controlling aphids in the garden requires a multi-faceted approach. Here are some strategies to manage these common garden pests:
- Natural Predators: Encourage beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and hoverflies that feed on aphids. These natural predators can help keep aphid populations in check.
- Water Pressure: Use a strong stream of water to dislodge aphids from the plants. This method can be effective in reducing their numbers, especially on small or delicate plants.
- Companion Planting: Planting herbs and flowers that repel or deter aphids, such as chives, garlic, marigolds, or catnip, can help minimize infestations. Additionally, attracting beneficial insects through companion planting can create a more balanced ecosystem in your garden.
- Organic Sprays: Homemade or commercial insecticidal soaps, neem oil, or horticultural oils can be used as organic sprays to control aphids. These options are relatively safe for beneficial insects and can be effective in reducing aphid populations when applied according to the instructions.
- Cultural Practices: Maintaining overall plant health through proper watering, fertilization, and regular pruning can help plants withstand aphid attacks. Removing infested plant parts and practicing good garden hygiene can also prevent the spread of aphids to other plants.
While aphids are the most common garden pest, it’s important to note that there are several other pests that gardeners may encounter, such as slugs, snails, caterpillars, and spider mites.
Understanding the specific pests that affect your garden and employing appropriate control methods will help you maintain a healthy and thriving garden.
How do I identify pests in my garden?
Identifying pests in your garden is crucial for effective pest management. By recognizing common garden pests, you can take appropriate measures to protect your plants and prevent potential damage. Here are some steps to help you identify pests in your garden:
- Regular Inspection: Conduct regular inspections of your plants, focusing on the leaves, stems, and the soil around them. Look for signs of damage, such as holes in leaves, chewed edges, wilting, discoloration, or distorted growth. Inspecting your plants frequently allows you to spot pests before they cause significant harm.
- Visual Observation: Observe the plants closely, especially during early morning or late afternoon when pests are often more active. Look for any crawling insects, flying pests, eggs, larvae, or webs. Pay attention to the undersides of leaves, where pests such as aphids, mites, and caterpillars tend to hide.
- Pest Specific Signs: Familiarize yourself with the signs and symptoms associated with common garden pests. For example, aphids leave behind sticky honeydew and may be found clustered on new growth, while spider mites create fine webbing on the undersides of leaves. Identifying these specific signs can help narrow down the pest causing the issue.
- Plant Damage Patterns: Different pests cause distinct patterns of damage. For instance, slugs and snails leave irregular holes in leaves, while caterpillars may leave large, ragged chew marks. Some pests may feed on specific parts of plants, like root-feeding insects causing wilting or stunted growth. Understanding these damage patterns can assist in identifying the pest responsible.
- Pest Identification Resources: Utilize reputable resources, such as books, online guides, or local agricultural extension services, to identify common garden pests. These resources often provide detailed descriptions, images, and information on the life cycle and habits of various pests. Comparing the observed pest or damage to these references can help you narrow down the culprit.
- Seek Expert Advice: If you’re unable to identify a particular pest or determine the appropriate action, consider reaching out to local gardening experts or agricultural professionals. They can provide specific guidance based on your region and offer solutions tailored to your garden’s needs.
Remember that early detection and accurate identification are key to effective pest management.
By promptly recognizing common garden pests and taking appropriate measures, such as natural predators, organic controls, or cultural practices, you can minimize their impact and maintain a healthy garden.
What insects are eating my garden?
If you’re noticing signs of damage in your garden, it’s likely that common garden pests are responsible for feasting on your plants. Several insects can be the culprits behind garden munching. Here are some common garden pests that may be eating your garden:
- Slugs and Snails
- Spider Mites
Several types of beetles can wreak havoc in the garden. The Colorado potato beetle, Japanese beetle, and flea beetle are notorious leaf feeders, causing skeletonized leaves or chewed foliage. They can quickly defoliate plants if left unchecked.
Although not insects, spider mites are common garden pests. They suck sap from plants and create fine webbing on the undersides of leaves. Spider mite infestations often result in yellowed or stippled leaves.
Thrips are slender, winged insects that pierce plant tissue and suck out the contents. Feeding damage appears as silvering, stippling, or darkening of leaves. They can also transmit plant diseases.
By closely inspecting your plants and looking for telltale signs, such as holes in leaves, distorted growth, or the presence of the insects themselves, you can begin to identify the specific pest causing damage in your garden.
Once identified, you can employ appropriate pest management strategies to protect your plants and mitigate the impact of these common garden pests.
What are the little bugs eating my plants?
If you’re noticing little bugs eating your plants, it’s likely that you’re dealing with common garden pests. These pests can cause damage to your plants, hindering their growth and overall health.
By closely inspecting your plants and observing the damage, you can start identifying the little bugs that are eating your plants. Look for signs such as holes in leaves, distorted growth, or the presence of the insects themselves.
Once you have identified the pests, you can take appropriate measures to control their population and protect your plants from further damage.
Common Garden Pests
So, this is my top ten garden pests list and various ways to control garden pests. You may or may not encounter all of these plant bugs and animals in your garden. Which common garden pests like making visits in your garden and how do you get rid of them?