Many garden pests, including lace bugs, wreak havoc on plants. Others, such as fire ants, wreak havoc on the gardener. To keep you and your garden safe this season, first identify the pests and then treat the problem. Be diligent and spot check your garden regularly.
Identify the Culprits:
- See leaves that look silvery, bleached or stippled? Tiny lace bugs suck the juices from the underside of plant leaves, discoloring and potentially killing the plant.
- See mounds of dirt? They are home to fire ants. Fire ants give a painful sting that hurts for weeks.
How to Get Rid of Lace Bugs:
- Cut infested parts and discard. Leave enough foliage for your plant to survive.
- Spray the undersides of leaves with a jet of water to dislodge the bugs.
- If pests return, apply insecticidal soap, Neem oil or horticultural oil to the undersides of the leaves. Be sure to provide good coverage. Always follow label directions.
- As a last resort, use a pesticide with carbaryl, acephate or permethrin. Ask your Garden Center associate for help.
How to Get Rid of Fire Ants:
- Always keep children and pets away from fire ant mounds, even after treatment.
- Use an insecticide. Be sure to wear gloves and follow directions.
- For the fastest results, drench the mound with a liquid insecticide.
- Apply granular insecticides or fire ant bait for long-lasting control.