The colder seasons are on our heels, and with summer being right at our doorstep, we can expect sunnier days ripe for all kinds of pleasure, excitement, and activities. However, we can also expect the slumbering garden pests to wake and be a nuisance again.
It’s best to be prepared to fight the multi-legged threat before they make themselves at home, and the easiest way to do so is to know your enemy. Today we’ll talk about some of the most common garden and lawn pests, as well as the most effective means to get rid of them, so let’s start from the top.
Armyworms are essentially larvae that morph into gray moths, both of which are dangerous to lawns and gardens. The larvae are usually brownish, although each species is drastically different color-wise. They’re slow and sluggish, but they normally come in masses, as moths lay their eggs in secluded, dark areas.
Organic insecticides and neem-oil sprays are decently effective against both young and adult larvae, although this won’t stop the moths from reproducing by a long shot.
Armyworms are dangerous because they hatch in less than five days, and they’re often small enough to hide beneath medium grass.
Birds are able to deal with them quickly, and they’ll usually hunt moths (and their nests) too. Pesticides aren’t warranted unless you’re dealing with a swarm. However, an infestation on a larger scale typically calls for an exterminator.
A handful of grubs can chew through a dozen plants in a week. An infestation can undermine an entire large-sized garden in that period of time. Fortunately, infestations aren’t that common due to the fact that grubs morph into beetles after a certain period of time.
Grubs attack plants from underground; similar to moles, they also spend most of their time there. What makes these pests so dangerous is that they eat at the roots instead of chewing the body (or leaves).
A plant that was attacked by a grub may appear as it wasn’t watered enough, as it will look wilted and discoloured. Fortunately, the ground areas inhabited by grubs are much softer, so searching for them shouldn’t be too challenging.
Due to the fact that they live below the ground and only rarely surface, and in addition to the very vague symptoms of infestation, dealing with these pests should be one of your top priorities.
If you happen to see birds pecking the ground near your flowers, the chances are that they are looking for grubs.
Additionally, if you notice more beetles than what you’re accustomed to, they are probably infesting the ground with eggs.
Aphids, which are more popularly called Greenflies, are the bane of any garden. These insects are miniature in size, and their breeding cycle sometimes doesn’t require a mate; this essentially means that a single aphid can colonize your garden in a matter of just a couple of days.
The quicker you notice them, the easier they’ll be to eliminate.
Picking a handful of aphids with bare hands should do the trick while a full-blown infestation may require deliberate destruction of a couple of plants with a power washer.
Most lawn bugs prey on them as they completely lack any defensive capabilities, and their small size and large numbers are quickly reduced if your lawn was already infested by grasshoppers, moles, or grubs.
Aphids aren’t particularly dangerous to fruits of any plant, although they’ll rip right through any leaves they come across. Their elusiveness and the ability to blend with the environment make them a formidable challenge.
A locust of grasshoppers once toppled a great nation, so any gardener doesn’t like them around since they typically come in flocks. What makes them particularly dangerous is the fact that they’re not particularly deterred by any scent or noise (unlike mice or moles, for example), so hunting down a large batch is usually challenging.
The best way to ward them off is to attract their natural enemies – other animals. Birds can effectively end an infestation of grasshoppers quickly, but luring them is fairly hard. Farm animals, such as chickens or geese are viable solutions too.
Finally, you can protect your garden physically. Construct screenings or smallish housings for your plants, although they’ll still be able to chew your lawn. Fortunately, larger packs will quickly migrate when they realize they won’t have a sustainable amount of food at their disposal.
Although they’re almost completely harmless to humans, moles are the most devastating threat to any garden due to their elusiveness and rapid hole-digging.
Spotting one is ridiculously hard as they’re pretty much blind when above ground, so they’ll stick to their burrows, ravaging everything and anything beneath your garden without leaving too much evidence.
Moles dig tunnels underground, which will invariably undermine your garden’s longevity unless quick action is taken.
Additionally, these pests carry all sorts of earthy parasites on them; on top of that, they will defend if attacked, so close-quarter strategies aren’t exactly recommended.
The best way to get rid of them is to trap them when they surface. They can live off of other garden pests indefinitely, but the damage they’ll cause to your lawn is incomparably more devastating, so if you’re facing multiple pests, prioritize hunting moles.
Mice commonly flock around strong smells, especially around areas where food is abundant and left out in the open.
They feel the most comfortable in messy places where they can find easy hiding spots while they typically breed either below ground or in secluded, dark spots.
They’re not as big of a threat to your garden, although if you leave them unchecked for long enough, they’ll gain in number and start competing for food, eating pretty much anything in front of their tiny paws and teeth.
A single mouse will try to play it safe and live off of breadcrumbs, although two will quickly make a colony, so consider setting multiple traps as quickly as you notice them.
We hope that this brief guide was of use to you and that you’ve learned something new today on the most common garden and lawn pests.
Make sure you are staying safe in these times we are all going through and have a good one, guys!