Owning a garden can be like having a little slice of heaven in your own backyard. Unfortunately, your little paradise may be overrun by nasty little devils known as garden pests. These critters can wreak havoc even on the most beautiful gardens, especially if they’re left alone. So you will want to act fast. The sooner you act on the problem, the better the chances that you will be able to prevent further degradation of the plants in your garden.
However, in order to fix your problem, you must first know what you are up against. Know your enemies and you will have a better shot at defeating them. Below is a list of some of the most common garden pests, and how you can deal with them naturally.
Dealing with Aphids
Aphids, also known as plant lice, are small sapping insects that can easily be one of the most destructive pests in a garden. Thankfully, you can easily get rid of them by simply having some lady bugs in your garden. Lady bugs love to eat aphids, and they will solve the aphid problem for you. Or if you prefer, you can simply just spray a jet of water using a regular garden hose on the aphids that cling to the plants. If they do get detached, the force will harm their mouthparts, thus rendering them unable to feed.
Dealing with Cutworms
Cutworms aren’t worms, per se, but are actually caterpillars. They are fond of snacking on young plants. They are most active during the night, so it’s nearly impossible for you to catch them in the act unless you plan on pulling an all-nighter. Your best course of action is to make sure that your young plants are protected. Scatter egg shell shards along the places where the cutworms usually gather, such as the area surrounding the saplings. The next time they try to feed on your plants, they will have a nasty surprise waiting for them. The egg shells will wound the cutworms and the pests will eventually perish.
Dealing with Slugs
One of the more common garden pests is the slug. Slugs move rather slowly, but they can quickly ruin your garden, especially if they are in large numbers. Dealing with them can be a bit tricky since these slugs are nocturnal. Sometimes, the slug problem has already been established before you notice its existence. A good way to check for a slug infestation is to leave a bowl of beer overnight. If there are slugs present, they will be attracted to the yeast content of the beer. The moment they get into the bowl, they will drown. Or you can deal with them the same way you deal with cutworms. Just sprinkle some egg shell pieces around where they usually feed, as egg shells are also very effective in exterminating slugs.
Dealing with Thrips
Thrips are slender little winged insects that usually feed on plants with bright colors, especially developing flowers or even vegetables. These buggers cause deformities and discolorations to your plants, reducing their value. It’s best if you can deal with them as soon as possible, so it is advised for you to use insecticidal soaps. However, if you don’t want to use an artificial means of dealing with thrips, you can simply populate your garden with their natural predators such as lady bugs, lacewings or mantids.
Gerard Cunningham is a freelance article writer who writes articles about gardening tools and techniques. He also writes organic pest control articles about Insight Pest Solutions as well. (Photo courtesy of vjeran2001 at Stock.Xchng)