Garden Pests Part Two – The Insect Variety

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Garden Pests Part TwoInsects can be hard to get rid of, especially if your garden is organic, as you don’t want to use common chemical pesticides to kill them off. Some insects are small and hard to see, making it even tougher to remove them from your vegetables. Thankfully there are ways of getting rid of these pests without having to resort to methods that will harm your vegetables as well as the insects munching or living on them.

Aphids – Aphids don’t just go after one type of plant – they go after many different kinds, turning their leaves yellow by sucking out the sap. Instead of spraying your plants with a chemical pesticide, there are several other methods of getting rid of them. You can spray them with a mild soap spray (a few drops of liquid soap in a gallon of water) or use row covers and yellow sticky traps to catch the aphids before they get to your plants.

Weevils – You know that weevils have invaded your garden when you see holes punched in your plants’ leaves. They can also remove all of the foliage from your plants. Weevils will go after many different plants, not just specific ones, which makes them even more of a nuisance. In order to keep weevils away, make sure that your garden is as clean and free of debris as possible. Weevils like a messy environment, so by not giving them one, they’ll steer clear.

Slugs – Slugs are unpleasant creatures that will eat the foliage and fruits right off of your plants. While they are big and slow enough to be removed from your plants by hand, that can quickly become an annoyance. You are better off setting up a few anti-slug measures, like arranging a border around your garden and lining it with ashes, sand or lime to keep the slugs at bay.

Leaf miners – Leaf miners will stunt your plants’ growth by tunneling inside of the leaves and eating whichever parts they find appealing. Unfortunately, they like many different types of plants, so they can be tricky to avoid. However, by setting up row covers and removing the infected leaves, you can rid your garden of these insects.

Cutworms – Cutworms will kill your plants if you don’t get to them first. They can be hard to detect, as they attack your plant’s stem from the soil line and begin to eat their way through it. By keeping your garden clean and weed-free, not to mention being very careful when you transplant your seedlings, you can keep cutworms out of your garden.

Hornworms – Hornworms prefer to snack on your tomato, eggplant, pepper and potato plants. They go after the leaves and fruit of each plant, destroying your crops before they have a chance to fully ripen. If you don’t have any of these plants in your garden, then you won’t have to worry about these insects. But if you do, you can get rid of them by sprinkling dried hot pepper on your plants or removing the insects by hand.

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 Pic by Martin LaBar