Gardeners spend hours and money cultivating their perfect outdoor spaces, so they’re easily dismayed to see plants slowly dying or being destroyed by pests. It’s crucial to find the culprit behind this destruction and stop them before your plants are gone.
Here are a few backyard pests to be on the lookout for in your garden:
Slugs are a common pest for gardeners as they eat plant leaves and seedlings. They thrive in moist, humid environments, especially during rainy seasons. You’ll know if slugs are eating your plants when you see a slimy trail on plants or soil. This slime is most evident in the early morning hours.
The Farmer’s Almanac warns about snails, but there are ways to prevent both slugs and snails from destroying your garden. In a video on how to deter garden pests, the publication recommends creating a barrier made of dry or gritty substances, such as crushed eggshells or sand, around plants that are vulnerable to snails or slugs. Since these pests like moist and wet conditions, the dry barrier will stop them from eating your plants.
Gardeners can also create traps where they insert a shallow pot in the ground and fill the pot with a sugary drink like beer. The pests enter the trap and drown in the liquid instead of ending up on your garden plants.
Aphids are common leaf and flower-eating bugs that have a varied number of species, color and wingless/winged types. These backyard bugs can cause trouble for gardeners because they reproduce quickly and when in larger numbers, they can rapidly overrun a garden. Many gardeners resort to spraying, but remember there are natural predators of aphids, such as ladybugs, so they will eat these harmful pests.
While weevils are most bothersome for greenhouses and other large-scale plant growing facilities, home gardeners can also find themselves with weevils destroying their plants, including Black Vine Weevils found in Indiana. Adult Black Vine Weevils eat hundreds of types of plants and their offspring eat away at roots and stems.
Although some beetles may seem harmless to gardens, some can destroy plants, including vegetables, flowers and shrubbery. These include the Japanese Beetle that feed off of almost every type of plant that is cultivated by farmers and gardeners. The Indy Star recently noted the population of the Japanese Beetle has been making a resurgence in the Indianapolis area.
6. Leaf-Footed Bugs
HGTV warns that leaf-footed bugs are hazardous to gardens with fruits and vegetables. The Eastern Leaf-footed Bug, found in Indiana, is known for a white stripe around its wing. Leaf-footed bugs suck out the juices from plants and cause them to stop growing or impact the taste of the crops.
With these bugs in mind, be on the look out for pests and protect your garden this summer!