Those of us who grow are own vegetables know there is nothing better than eating fresh, home grown veggies. Yum! Well unfortunately, bugs think so too. Garden pests can be an annoying nuisance or they can totally destroy your garden within a day’s time.
Either way, we want them GONE! In this article, we will go over some of the more common garden bugs and what you can do about them.
Aphids are a common nuisance. They are tiny little bugs that usually group together in clusters. They come in various colors such as gray, green, red, pink or black. The easiest remedy for them are ladybugs. You can buy ladybugs at your local garden store or even Amazon.
You can also use an insecticidal soap or Neem Oil to take care of them. I prefer the ladybug option myself since it’s the most natural solution. Beetles such as Japanese beetles or June bugs can wreck havoc on your plants. You can use beetle traps for them or the Neem oil or insecticidal soap will work for them too.
Borers are extremely destructive. They love squash vines but will also eat melon vines, and cucumber vines too. Borers are hard to get rid of and to even find. They drill a little hole into the vine and get inside of it. For more info on these horrid little pests, check out this site: http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1209.html One sign of them is there will be a little hole in the plant and the leaves will wilt.
Grubs are yucky looking fat white worms. They will also make your plants wilt or your plant’s growth will be stunted. There is a substance called Milky Spore that will get rid of grubs.
Cutworms will eat tomatoes, cabbage and peppers. They can be controlled by several ways. You can spread Diatomaceous Earth
around the base of the plant. Or put wood ash or Nematodes around the plant. For a “green” alternative, put a bird feeder nearby as birds love to eat cutworms.Or plant the herb tansey as it will repel cutworms.
Earworms love corn and will eat the kernels but they are also called fruitworms and will eat the innards of eggplants,tomatoes and peppers. You can apply insecticides to the plants or applying Mineral Oil to the silky threads on the corn has been known to help.
Slugs and Snails
Snails and slugs like to eat turnips, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and cabbage. You can kill them by placing a shallow pan of beer near your plants. Snails and slugs actually are attracted to the beer and once they climb into the pan, they will drown.
Thrips love onions but will also eat other veggies. They can leave marks on the plants. They are attracted to the color blue so you can use blue sticky traps to control them. Nematodes can also help as some predator insects. Read more about thrips here: http://www.hydroponicsearch.com/Explore_the_Science_of_Hydroponics/Pest_control/Controlling_Thrips/
Tomato Hornworms are scary looking white and green caterpillar like worms with a large horn that looks like a stinger. They eat tomatoes, eggplants and peppers along with their leaves. Neem oil works on these guys or you can pick them off and drown them in soapy water.
So are you totally grossed out now? Odds are you won’t get all of these bugs in your garden, but you will probably get at least one. I’d recommend going with the most natural solution first before resorting to a chemical solution.