Control Aphids, Caterpillars and Grasshoppers Today

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Difficulty: Beginner

garden tips by region - control pests

Garden pests spell trouble. Bad guys include aphids, caterpillars and grasshoppers. To keep your garden safe, be diligent and spot check your garden often.

Identify the Culprits:

  • See a sticky liquid and a black, sooty mold? Or yellow, distorted leaves and buds? Aphids suck juices out of plants and eventually kill them. This sticky mess also attracts ants and other insects.
  • See leaves chewed around the edges? Caterpillars are some of the most common and prolific garden pests.
  • See leaves chewed almost to tatters? Once hatched, grasshoppers go through several growth phases, devouring plants at every stage.

How to Get Rid of Aphids:

  1. Cut infested parts and discard. Leave enough foliage for your plant to survive.
  2. Spray outdoor plants with a hose, dislodging any remaining aphids.
  3. If pests return, spray with a soap solution of 2 teaspoons dishwashing soap mixed with 1 gallon water. Thoroughly coat the stems and both sides of leaves.
  4. Or use an insecticidal soap, Neem oil or other pesticide control and follow product directions.
  5. These tips work for other pests such as scale and spider mites, too.

How to Get Rid of Caterpillars:

  1. Hand-pick and drop caterpillars into a bucket of soapy water.
  2. Organic BTK is the most effective caterpillar management. It is safe for people, animals and other insects. Organic Neem-based pesticides also provide good control. Always use according to label directions.
  3. For severe infestations, use a pesticide with carbaryl, acephate and permethrin. Ask your Garden Center associate for help.

How to Get Rid of Grasshoppers:

  1. Grasshoppers are attracted to weedy areas and tall grass. Keep these areas mowed.
  2. Encourage birds, which find grasshoppers very tasty.  
  3. Organic Neem-based pesticides provide good control. Always use according to label directions.
  4. In worst cases, use a pesticide with carbaryl, acephate and permethrin. Ask your Garden Center associate for help.

Tip:

Create a habitat for birds and beneficial insects, which feed on pests.

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