You work hard to create and maintain a garden, but pests can quickly wreak havoc on your produce. Being aware of the signs, effects, and treatments can help quickly save your plants and avoid pest problems in the future. Most insect issues are cyclical and happen at very similar times each year. Being aware of certain issues that your plants may be susceptible to and how to treat them is a great place to start along with having an integrated pest management (IPM) solution. Picking varieties of plants with a higher resistance to insects will level the playing field even more!
Since some issues can mimic each other, it’s important to know what to look for. Some insects leave damage that’s easy to spot, like Japanese beetles, while others like Borers can cause damage that is difficult to spot unless you really know what to look for. Some pests can make your plants leaves discolored or spotted, or drop entirely, while others can actually kill the plant. It’s always best to know what the issue is, rather than treating a symptom.
There are many treatment solutions from chemicals to home remedies. Here’s where your IPM comes into play! The most effective treatment is to understand the lifecycle of the pest so you can begin treatment early. Some insects, like bagworms, start by growing eggs so eliminating the eggs in the first stages will remove the ability for adult/mature insects to take over the plant.
We also recommend substituting plants with more pest options or use pest resistant plants in conjunction with other plants. For instance, marigolds in the vegetable garden will help rid tomato plants of insects such as nematodes. Planting more insect resistant trees, bushes, or flowers can help keep your yard clean. Japanese beetles love a Pin Oak, but will stay away from a Sweetgum. Read more about Japanese Beetles.
Lastly, always keep your garden and yard clean. Consistent maintenance and cleanup of debris or build up around vegetable gardens, tree bases, and landscaping alleviate the opportunity for insects to make a home and grow.
Blackberries, brassicas, corn, tomatoes, eggplant, beans, fruit trees
Wilting, stunted growth; yellow or white leaf blotches; misshapen or aborted fruits, seeds, & buds
Hand pick & destroy eggs & bugs; encourage parasitic wasps & flies by growing small flowered plants near garden
Tomatoes, eggplant, pepper, potato
Entire leaves are consumed, large pieces chewed from green fruit
Hand pick & destroy caterpillars (early morning)
Tomatoes, houseplants, annuals
Bleaching & stippling of leaves; bronzed, curled leaves emveloped in webbing
Knock mites off plants with water, insecticidal soap, horticultural oils
Slugs & Snails
Wide variety of vegetables
Holes in leaves, stems, flowers, & fruits
Hand pick & destroy slugs, diatomaceous Earth barrier, copper strip barrier
Wilted & dried out leaves, adults can be seen feeding on main stems, nymphs can be found feeding on undersides of leaves
Hand pick & destroy eggs & bugs; row cover, resistant squash varieties
For more solutions or to help diagnoses a pest or problem with your plants, come in and chat with one of our experts! We would be happy to set up an IPM for your garden.