By Tiffany Rowe, Seek Visibility
Summer is a gardener’s favorite season, as vegetables, ornamental plants, flowers, and grasses that were so carefully tended during the cool spring months are now reaching their full potential. Everything is growing riotously, but summer is also a favorite of other types of creatures.
Yes, we’re talking about garden pests. As the temperatures rise and their favorite foods (your plants) are springing up before their beady little eyes, these insects want nothing more than to prey on all of your hard work.
Dealing with lawn and garden pests is just a fact of life for those horticulturally inclined among us, but learning how to identify and treat these common insects can protect your plants and help keep your lawn and garden healthy and productive throughout the summer months.
These are a few of the many common garden pests you’ll find in your yard this summer, and some very effective ways to get rid of them.
It’s not every day that you’ll hear that you have a chinch bug infestation in your lawn, and it’s also not very common that you’ll even know what a chinch bug is. However, these tiny insects feast voraciously on various grasses and can ruin your perfect summer lawn before you realize there’s a problem.
Chinch bugs are at their peak during the summer months and thrive in all areas of the United States. They prefer sunny areas of grass and as they feed they release a toxin that causes the grass to turn yellow or brown. Treating chinch bugs lawn pests requires a combination of irrigation to bring them to surface, then a controlled pesticide treatment usually performed by a professional. Afterward, proper fertilization can restore your lawn to its former health and beauty.
Mites are among the most common garden pests and with so many varieties it can be difficult to ascertain which ones and which, and what plants they prefer to feed upon. Red spider mites prefer flowering plants like camellias and azaleas, and suck the sap from the leaves and branches. Plants infested by these mites will have a dusty look to the leaves and will begin to wither as the infestation increases.
One of the best ways to stop these mites from spreading is by introducing their natural predators to your garden. Ladybugs are your best defense, and once released into the infestation area they’ll immediately begin to feed on the mites, and your plants will return to their healthy state.
There are over 100,000 varieties of moths in the world, and some of these are especially damaging to flowering plants and crops. One of the worst of these is the codling moth. These moths prey heavily on fruit trees, especially apples, and can cause widespread damage if left unchecked.
It’s difficult to ascertain the exact time to begin the aggressive treatment required to eradicate these pests, and much of that has to do with the current temperatures in your region. It’s best to consult with a pest professional to ensure that the treatment is effective.
Caterpillars are the creatures that will become moths and butterflies. While many moths and butterflies are important pollinators, the caterpillars can cause serious damage to your plants as they take on the nutrients they need before they enter the cocoon stage. Cabbage caterpillars are among the most devastating, and have a particular fondness for your garden vegetables like lettuces, broccoli, and cabbage, hence the name.
While not exactly desirable, the best way to control these pests is to pick them off by hand and drop them into a bucket of soapy water. Using insecticides is not always the best treatment, as the caterpillar’s natural predators will also be killed.
Most beetles are perfectly harmless, but there are a few that are devastating to a garden, and if not treated properly they can destroy a crop. One of the worst of these is the Colorado potato beetle, or simply called a potato bug. These pests can strip a tomato plant of its leaves in no time, and are also fond of eggplant and potatoes, as one would expect.
Experts recommend a heavy layer of mulch around the base of each plant, and regular shaking of plants to dislodge the beetles, which should then be placed in soapy water to kill them. Also inspect leaves for egg clusters and remove them by hand.
Garden pests will always be a problem, but with the right tools, preparation, and the help of professionals, you can keep these intruders at bay and maintain your beautiful lawn and garden all summer.
Tiffany Rowe is a marketing administrator who assists in contributing resourceful content throughout the World Wide Web. Tiffany prides herself in her strong ability to provide high quality content that readers will find valuable. She enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content for various niches. You can often find Tiffany looking up new D.I.Y projects for the weekend or attempting to teach her pup new tricks. Favorite quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou