Having a garden is a fantastic hobby. Not only does it beautify your home or your office premises, but also gets you out in the sun and into the fresh air. Gardening can be a very therapeutic activity, but one of the biggest problems that most people face is dealing with garden pests. Pests can be really annoying, since they ruin your plants and multiply fast. There are several ways to deal with pests, but first let’s understand what they are, and know a little bit about them.
Are All Pests a problem?
The answer is No. All pests do not wreck havoc in your garden. There are, in fact, some friendly insects that can actually help your garden flourish more!
Some insects that are actually beneficial are:
- Praying Mantis
These insects are not only friendly, but can actually be effective against insects that are harmful to your plants. Some of these insects prey on the larvae of other harmful insects and thus limiting their growth. Insects like honeybees are super beneficial since they help in pollination and are a natural way to flower your garden even more.
What you must understand is that using pesticides or other chemicals on a large scale for your garden will definitely kill harmful pest populations, but may also kill the beneficial insects. And therefore it is advised that pesticides be avoided or used in limited quantities and on certain areas only.
Some of the Harmful Pests
Harmful pests can be a problem to not only discover but also to get rid of. For example, wolf spiders. To find out more about wolf spiders, click on wolf spiders in garden. Most of them stay hidden or come only at night. Let’s take a look at some of them.
These insects are especially destructive for cabbage-family crops, especially Chinese cabbages. They dig into the roots of the plans killing them instantly, or creating a tunnel for organisms that may cause diseases.
By Rasbak [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], from Wikimedia Commons
Cutworms are fat, grey or black and attack the early saplings of plants. They chew the stems from the ground level and can devour entire plants. They mostly work at night and therefore become even more difficult to spot.
By Neil Phillips from uk (Large Yellow Underwing caterpiller) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Flea beetles are small, dark beetles which chew leaves and leave numerous holes in them. The larvae of this beetle feel on the stems at ground level. They can be especially destructive to small plants.
Adult female forms of scales may look like little bumps on leaves that are soft to touch. The male forms are flying insects and the larvae are little crawling insects. All of them feed on plant sap and weaken the plants. The result is yellowing leaves, shedding leaves and the plant ultimately dying.
By Gilles San Martin from Namur, Belgium (Scale insectsUploaded by Jacopo Werther) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Aphids are the most common garden insects. They look like little green, oval shaped critters that are usually in colonies. They attack fruit and vegetable and even ornamental plants are such on the sap thus leaving the plants to weaken and die. The honeydew left behind can cause viral diseases.
Caterpillars can be very cute to look at or play with, but they can be very helpful to plants. They chew on the leaves, especially along the margins and destroy plants. They have a cylindrical structure with six legs at the back and two false legs dangling on the front. Some are plain green in colour while others might be yellow and have black spots.
How Do You Mange These Harmful Pests?
There are several ways in which such pests can be handled. Sometimes, if the infestation is little, these pests can be handpicked which saves you from the usage of harmful chemicals and pesticides. But if the infestation is large, consider the following options:
1. Row Fencing
Row fencing is the easiest way to keep the larger pests, like dogs and rabbits out of your garden. Make a line of fence around your garden on a low height and you are good to go. Sometimes creating a fence around your plants can also be a good idea.
2. Using organic pesticides
Organic pesticides are essential since they keep the plants healthy and also prevent them from poisoning you when they are consumed. Homemade pesticides can be really effective, like garlic spray, mineral oil etc. Make sure that you spray these insecticides or pesticides often, especially in wet climates.
Putting nets above your fruits and vegetable patches can be a great way to not let any harmful pests from entering. It also keeps unnecessary clutter away and your garden can be easily cleaned!
4. Use DIY methods
DIY methods are the easier alternative to using pesticides. For example, sometimes only a certain plant or a patch needs to be protected. For such cases, use cardboard or empty boxes to cover these plants. Use collars made out of tissue paper rolls to prevent night crawling insects.
While garden pests can be a problem, make sure you identify which insects are harmful and which insects are friendly. Use organic methods to keep harmful pests in check to keep you and your plants healthy!