6 Ways to Fight Fall Garden Pests

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Cabbage in the garden

This month is a gift for warm-climate gardeners. Almost anything grows and flourishes in the fall and harvests are plentiful. Nights are also cooling off, making for pleasant evenings spent outdoors. Yet there’s just one complaint, it’s not quite cool enough to eradicate garden pests.

Tricks of integrated pest management, such as rotating planting locations and harvesting as soon as crops are ripe, keeps some pests at bay. If you have a pest problem, the following are proven solutions. Remember, the presence of a few pests does not mean an infestation. Monitor plants and use pesticides only when necessary.

6 Ways to Manage Fall Vegetable Garden Pests:


Soapy water helps garden plants

1. Soapy Water

Mix up a solution of 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap per one gallon of water. Spray onto infested plants. Ask your garden center associate before spraying because some plants are sensitive to any soap spray.  


Hand pick pests off your plants

2. Handpicking

Handpicking is an effective option. Once you spot a large pest on your produce, put on your garden gloves and pick off the offending pest. Drop bugs into a bucket of soapy water and dispose far away from the garden.


Use remedies to rid your garden of pests

3. Insecticidal Soaps or Horticultural Oil

Insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils, such as neem oil, fight soft-bodied insects like aphids, whiteflies and mealy bugs. Spray directly on leaves. Both are safe to use indoors, around humans and pets, and will not harm beneficial insects. Follow instructions before using.


Use bug traps to rid your garden of pests

4. Traps

An easy way to capture insects is with a trap. Place targeted pest traps 20 to 30 feet from the plants you are protecting to lure pests away from the garden.


Ladybugs make lunch out of pests in your garden.

5. Beneficial Insects

Natural predators, such as ladybugs, feed on other pests. Order live ladybugs and release. If you introduce a natural predator, do not use chemical insecticides.


Use pesticides as a last resort on edibles


6. Pesticides

If all else fails, consider pesticides. Check with your The Home Depot Garden Center associate for appropriate vegetable gardening treatments. Apply late in the afternoon or in the early evening when bees and other pollinators are less active.

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