Pests are a big problem for most gardeners. Some types of pests can destroy a crop in just a few hours!
Most pests are more annoying than wantonly destructive, but finding bugs chowing down on your crops can drive anyone crazy!
We're going to look at some of the most common vegetable garden pests, how to identify them, and how to get rid of them.
Aphids are extremely common in vegetable gardens.
You'll usually see clusters of very tiny insects with soft bodies in various colors.
They might be gray, pink, red, green, black, or yellow.
To rid your garden of aphids, you can use neem oil or an insecticidal soap.
Beetles are annoying little creatures that love to chew on leaves.
They can do an extraordinary amount of damage to crops, so it's important to get rid of them. You can pick beetles off by hand, or you can spray your plants with an insecticide that poisons them.
Borers get into the stems of plants like melons, squashes, cucumbers, and pumpkins.
You'll notice the leaves start to wilt, and you may find a hole in the stem where they bore into the plant. You have to cut the borers out of the plants.
If the borer is found at the base, you'll have to destroy the whole plant. You can use insecticide to try to prevent these.
Grubs are fat white worms. They cause plants to wilt, or their growth may seem stunted.
Grubs can be controlled by treating the soil with milky spore.
The adult beetles that grubs turn into can be killed with stomach poison insecticide.
Cutworms usually cut off the plant stem at the base of the plant.
The only effective way to control these is to use a paper collar on your plants about an inch below and above ground level.
These bugs usually infest cabbages, peppers, and tomatoes.
Corn earworms will eat the kernels off of the cobs while the corn is still on the stalk.
A similar worm, the tomato fruitworm, will eat the insides of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants.
You can use an insecticide that is made especially for earworms, and be sure to get rid of the plants at the end of the season so hopefully they won't be back next year.
Slugs and snails leave nasty slime trails on plants and eat plant leaves.
They are especially destructive to cabbage, lettuce, tomatoes, turnips, and carrots. You can buy bait to kill them, but placing a shallow pan of beer in your garden should attract them and drown them.
Thrips cause irregular white marks on leaves and leaf tips that look deformed.
They infest beans, cabbage, carrots, melons, peas, squash, turnips, celery, tomatoes, and many more plants.
You can hose the bugs off of the plants and then spray with a contact poison.
Tomato hornworms are one of the scariest looking garden pests.
They eat the leaves and fruits of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. They are large, fat, green and white worms that look like caterpillars.
They have a large horn that looks like a stinger.
You can remove them with gloved hands and drown them in soapy water.
You can also spray with neem oil, stomach poison insecticide, or Bacillus thuringiensis.
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