How To Get Rid of The Top 8 Common Garden Pests

Gardening is a fantastic hobby, whatever your age or circumstances.

It is a way of relaxing while at the same time using your talent for growing plants and trees.

We’ll look today at how to get rid of the top 8 garden pests that might ruin all your hard work.

While it might be considered a pastime, nurturing plants is also a very demanding job. Maintaining the health of a garden is a huge responsibility too.

Plants and trees aren’t simply garden decor. They lift up your energy too and inject beauty into your surroundings. Gardening isn’t just about planting. When you decide to plant, you also have to take care of the nourishment and ongoing lives of the plants.

And in order to do that, you need to watch out closely for any possible obstacles that will prevent your plants from growing healthily.

Some of these problems are the various pests that come to attack the plants and feed on them.

We’ll touch on the top 8 garden pests that pose the most danger to our plants and show you how to eliminate them all for good.


Getting Rid of the Top 8 Garden Pests

1) Ants


Source: Professional Ecological Services

Among all the groups in the animal and insect kingdom, ants are incredibly durable. While some animals are nearing extinction, billions of ants remain strong.

Generally, ants aren’t a garden enemy. They even eat some insects that feed on plants. The only issue with ants is that they tend to keep other insects like aphids and white flies hostage. This is due to the honeydew they gather which the ants love to eat. They pop honeydew onto leaves which in turn aphids and white flies eat and destroy.

The easiest way to get rid of ants is to just brush them off. But then again, these tiny insects have a reputation for being stubborn. They keep coming back as many times as you drive them away.

Another way is to use magic chalk. Otherwise known as insecticide or miraculous chalk, this white chalk is used just like regular board chalk. Simply work it onto the path where the ants normally tread and it will serve as a barrier. Ants won’t cross the white line. They will automatically smell that it’s toxic and avoid it.

Important Note: Keep this chalk away from little kids and pets as it’s poisonous when ingested.

2) Box Tree Moth/Caterpillar

box tree moth

Source: EBTS

Caterpillars, as we all know, primarily feed on leaves. They leave a trail of webbed and ripped foliage as they pass.

Also known as cydalima perspectalis, the best way to get rid of box tree moths is to simply remove them by hand. Use a tissue or paper as their hairs can irritate your skin and leave you with rashes. Afterward, cut away all the damaged leaves to retain the aesthetics.

3) Fuchsia Gall Mites

fuchsia mite

Source: Aphotofauna

Aptly named after the fuchsia flower, these mites attack only this fuchsia plant.

Just like its other mite relatives, fuchsia gall mite is so tiny that it can be only seen through a microscope.

Although it feeds only on fuchsias, these gall mites can infest and ultimately kill the plant. When left untreated, the plant will be left totally damaged and die.

Fuchsia gall mites cannot be destroyed by insecticide. Gardeners should try to locate silk threads and broken foliage and cut them off along with the shoot tips. Water with a hose and separate the fuchsia from other plants to prevent contaminating them.

4) Glasshouse Thrips

Glasshouse Thrips

Source: Koppert Biological Systems

These small insects attack greenhouse indoor plants as well as outdoor plants. They suck the juices out of the leaves, fruits and even flowers. This leaves the plant completely drained and ready to die.

These tiny black pests can also only be located using a magnifying lens. Vegetables are their favorite. You can just imagine the problem they create for farmers.

Early detection is always the key to all pest control. Since thrips are so tiny, if you forget to bring your magnifying glass, try to find tiny black threads lounging on your plants. This is how thrips look to the naked eye.

Immediately wash the vegetables or plants with a hose to remove these pests. Cut off all affected parts and discard them into a trash bag at once.

As with the other pests, greenhouse thrips also have enemies that eat them. Deploy ladybugs and minute pirate bugs to feast on them.

Use mild insecticidal soaps and soap the undersides of leaves and flowers where the eggs are mostly lodged. Rinse thoroughly.

5) Slugs and Snails

Slug & snail

Source: The Gardener’s Almanac

This seemingly harmful little species actually eats all parts of the plant (seeds to fruits) and creates holes which leave plants with dotted punctures. Since they are readily visible, it is very easy to get rid of them.

When you drink a beer, try to leave some aside. Place it in a tiny plastic bag and hang it on the stem. You will find the snails hovering on the sides of the container. Slugs love the smell and taste of beer. We just don’t know if they can also get drunk when they take a suck!

Slugs and snails have enemies too. Place some plants that slugs and snails dislike besides the ones that they are infesting. Try:

  • Chives
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Geranium
  • Mint

These pests will eventually leave the plant they are feeding on.

If you need the help of some predators, try putting some ducks in your garden. Ducks love to eat snails. And lastly, since snails are visible, the simplest way is to just remove them by hand and put them somewhere far from your garden.

6) Vine Weevils

Vine Weevils

Source: Royal Horticultural Society

Scientifically known as otiorhyncus sulcatus, these pests are somewhat nocturnal. They hide during the day under the leaves and feed on the roots of the plant by night.

Since they dislike the light, weevils can be easily removed at night time too. Simply bring a flashlight or candle. Place it near the vine weevil where it can be exposed clearly. You won’t need to touch them, they will just start dropping onto the ground. After they’ve dropped, pick them up with some tissue or paper and throw them into the bin well away from any soil.

7) Woolly Aphids

Woolly Aphids

Source: Bug Tracks

These pests mainly attack apple trees.

Woolly aphids or fairy flies love to suck the juice from tree sap. They look like white fluffy seeds or tiny cotton debris floating in the air. A group of woolly aphids sometimes resemble mold or fungi.

These aphids eat almost all parts of a tree. They cause leaves to become yellow, curled and die. They lay eggs in spring and attack in summer.

In order to protect apple trees, farmers are advised to use woolly aphids’ natural predators. These are ladybugs, lacy wings and wasps.

Before closing, we will take a very swift look at two other general pests, mosquitoes and fleas.

8) Mosquitoes and Fleas

Mosquitoes and Fleas

Source:Fleas and mosquitoes are both parasitic insects that feed on the blood of their prey. While fleas attack mostly animals and rarely humans, mosquitoes principally prey on man.

Flea bites generally appear in patterns on the lower body.  Mosquito bites are more isolated and can crop up anywhere. Flea bites heal more quickly than mosquito bites. These can take several days to mend.

This article explains some of the more technical differences between the two types of bite.

Wrap Up

Planting is one thing but maintaining the growth and health of those plants is something else entirely.

We hope we have given you plenty of information that helps you to identify the top 8 garden pests and the knowledge to eradicate them.

If you have any comments, queries or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

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