Your Yummy Garden, From Pests’ Eye View

harmful pests

If you are just getting started with a new garden or exploring new methods to help it thrive, understanding how to safely manage pest control options is essential. While some pests are pesky and end up eating more of your tomatoes than you will, other garden bugs such as pollinators are essential for producing nutrient dense fruits and vegetables. Identifying what pests are living in your garden and understanding their life cycle will be a helpful guide for you to troubleshoot an effective pest control plan.

Identifying Harmful & Helpful Pests In The Garden

As you dig into the dirt, a myriad of little bugs start crawling onto your garden shovel. Along with those, there are also bugs you can’t see living in your garden. These may be egg sacs of spiders or flies not yet hatched. Spiders, scorpions and beetles will be easier to see and can be identified by their color, shape and webs, while flies and newly hatched pests may evade the eye. Knowing what pests should be eliminated can largely be gauged based on what produce you are actually growing since some pests have an affinity for eating or laying eggs on particular plants such as peppers, beans and tomatoes.

Harmful Pests

  • Spiders: Yellow and orange garden spiders can lay several hundred eggs and trap other, beneficial bugs.
  • Scorpions: More common in the Southwest, these light brown pests may be hard to see, but lurk along the dirt in gardens.
  • White flies: With a rapid lifecycle, white flies damage plants and other helpful garden bugs.
  • Slugs: Found at dusk, slugs will eat your tomatoes and peppers before you.
  • Japanese beetles: These pests can decimate leaves and quickly defoliate plants.

Photo by Flickr user Patty O’Hearn Kickham

Helpful Bugs

Some bugs are revered by gardeners as natural helpers because they eat other pests and help pollinate to ensure a nutrient dense crop. Before you pick up the insecticides, observe to protect the following:

  • Lady beetles
  • Praying Mantis
  • Ground beetles

Lady bug

Photo by Flickr user miheco

How To Safely Manage Helpful & Harmful Pests In The Garden

Plant border flowers

Each season before you bury your seeds, line your garden border with flowers to discourage pests from entering. Because of their bitter nature, marigolds are an effective solution to manage pests such as moles, slugs and Japanese beetles. Because some pests are helpful, marigolds help distract other harmful pests from eating both them and your newly growing plants.

Spray the garden with a safe insecticide

The use of safe insecticides that eliminate living pests and their lifecycle by targeting egg sacs is essential. When the exterminator from arrives, you’ll receive a family safe source of pest control that won’t disrupt nontarget organisms and helpful pests. You can feel confident that their insecticides also break down quickly ensuring longevity of your garden. The EPA has suggested that this is a safe method of eliminating garden pests without creating damaging effects to what you eat.

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About the author:

Francine Daly

Francine is a stay-at-home mom who likes to write about her adventures with DIY projects and modern parenting.

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