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:
- Cut infested parts and discard. Leave enough foliage for your plant to survive.
- Spray outdoor plants with a hose, dislodging any remaining aphids.
- 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.
- Or use an insecticidal soap, Neem oil or other pesticide control and follow product directions.
- These tips work for other pests such as scale and spider mites, too.
How to Get Rid of Caterpillars:
- Hand-pick and drop caterpillars into a bucket of soapy water.
- 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.
- For severe infestations, use a pesticide with carbaryl, acephate and permethrin. Ask your Garden Center associate for help.
How to Get Rid of Grasshoppers:
- Grasshoppers are attracted to weedy areas and tall grass. Keep these areas mowed.
- Encourage birds, which find grasshoppers very tasty.
- Organic Neem-based pesticides provide good control. Always use according to label directions.
- In worst cases, use a pesticide with carbaryl, acephate and permethrin. Ask your Garden Center associate for help.
Create a habitat for birds and beneficial insects, which feed on pests.
- Mild dishwashing liquid