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In any garden, harmful pest is ever present and can be found chewing on plants even in the healthiest garden. To come up with an effective control, we need to identify these pests and some of top garden pest you should know are:
Aphids. These are tiny pear shaped pest with long antennae and tubes projecting rearward from the abdomen. Although small they are very visible as they congregate underneath the leaves of the plant they are infecting. They come in a variety of sizes, colors and shape. They are not choosey and will attack fruit crops, roses, ornamentals and different sorts of vegetables. All aphids are female born with babies already inside their body. That is how they multiply overnight. One way to control them is by washing the infected leaves with strong spray of water or spray them with neem solution.
Scales. The adult female looks like a bump on leaves, stems or fruit and the male flies around. There are two types of scales, the armored scales with hard outer shell that targets fruit trees like citrus and the soft scales with soft bodies. They don’t usually kill the host plants. Scales feed by sucking plant juices. To get rid of scales the natural way, introduce beneficial predators like lady bugs and lacewings or you may spray them with insecticidal soap.
Whiteflies. They are tiny flying insects and swarms up in clouds when their host plant is disturbed. Whiteflies are related to aphids and feed the same way by sucking plant juices. Their target plants are tomato, sweet potato, citrus and ornamental plants. Whiteflies on their immature stage is the best time to spray them with insecticidal soap which are on the underside of leaves. Easy on the spray as it can burn the leaves and make sure that there are no friendly bugs around. Another way is to pull take away infected leaves and burn them. Treat whiteflies early to prevent them from spreading.
Japanese Beetles. Adult beetles have a metallic blue-green color and are about an inch long. They have long legs with large claws. The beetle larvae are fat with C shaped grubs and with brown heads. Very damaging plant pest and can be very hard to control. They attack just about any plant, both edible and ornamental. You can control the adult beetle by hand-picking them in the morning and drowning them in soapy water. As for the larvae, you may spray them with insecticidal soap.
Grasshoppers. These are incredible insects that can catapult themselves using their hind legs to a distance 20 times the length of their body. Grasshoppers come in shades of green and brown. They are herbivorous and have very effective chewing jaws. These insects are not picky and will eat weeds, ornamental plants. During drought seasons, they will target garden plants. To control them, inviting their natural enemies can do the job, but the best way is to control them on their nymph stage.
Pest such as these can cause serious damage to your garden, but by being vigilant and smart, you can put them on check. Most garden plants are tough and can tolerate pest damage to some degree and spraying insecticide is not really the only way to get rid of them, there is always a natural way.