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Weekly Gardening Tips for Your Area


6 Signs of Nibbling Pests in Your Garden

Lucy Mercer
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Crow in the Garden | The Home Depot's Garden Club

You’ve invested time and hard work into your garden and then the unthinkable happens: You spot nibbled-on leaves, deformed fruit, or worse, vegetables that go missing.

Let’s troubleshoot some common garden pests, beginning with crows. 

1. Crows. Crows can be beneficial to the garden. They dine on grubs and other insects, for one thing, but these omnivorous creatures want to eat seeds and fruit, too. Control damage by using bird netting over plants and row covers over seedlings. Hanging shiny objects and reflective tape in the garden is said to keep them away. You can try making an old-fashioned scarecrow, as well.


Rabbit | The Home Depot's Garden Club

2. Rabbits. Rabbits like greens just as much as you do. Control these herbivores with fencing around the garden. Poultry netting (chicken wire) is a good bet. Scent-based animal repellent granules work, too.


Deer | The Home Depot's Garden Club

3. Deer. These critters like tender plants from vegetable and flower gardens. They will strip off leaves and new growth. Control deer damage with fencing, garden enclosures and animal repellents.


Tomato Worm | The Home Depot's Garden Club

4. Tomato Hornworms. Known as the Jabba the Hutt of caterpillars, tomato hornworms are both ugly and effective. They will defoliate and de-fruit a tomato plant in a matter of days. Keep an eye out for these beasts and be ready with a bucket of soapy water when you see them. Pluck them off the plant and drop them into the soapy water and dispose of them in a galaxy far, far away from your garden. Beneficial insects will eat the caterpillar eggs, so if you anticipate a problem, be proactive. Safer Garden Dust is another alternative.


Cabbage Worm | The Home Depot's Garden Club

5. Cabbage worms. These worms make unsightly messes of cole crops. These destructive creepy crawlies can be controlled with the hand-picking and soapy water routine, and other organic methods like row covers and beneficial insects. Safer Garden Dust is effective, too.


Snail | The Home Depot's Garden Club

6. Snails. Snails are just slugs that carry their homes with them. They will destroy tender leafy crops and strawberries. Snails like dark, damp conditions, so location is key to keeping them out of your garden. Well-draining raised beds also discourage snails. The tried-and-true beer trap is effective for snaring snails; copper tape, too.


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