Garden pests are trouble. Bad guys include aphids, Japanese beetles, slugs and snails. 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 with only veins remaining? Japanese beetles are one of the most common and prolific garden pests.
- See shredded or eaten leaves? Slugs feast by night or on overcast days. Slugs (and snails– which are slugs with a shell) hide by day.
How to Get Rid of Aphids:
- Spray outdoor plants with a hose and isolate until pests are gone.
- Cut infested parts and discard. Leave enough foliage for your plant to survive.
- If pests return, spray with a soap solution of 2 teaspoons dishwashing soap mixed with 1 gallon water. Spray to thoroughly coat the stems and both sides of leaves.
- Still seeing signs? Use an insecticidal soap, Neem oil or other pesticide control and follow directions.
- These tips work for other pests such as scale and spider mites, too.
How to Get Rid of Japanese Beetles:
- The easiest way to capture Japanese beetles is with a trap. Place the trap 30’ from the plants you are protecting to lure them away from the garden.
- Hand-pick and drop beetles into a bucket of soapy water.
- Organic Neem-based pesticides and insecticidal soaps also 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.
How to Get Rid of Slugs and Snails:
- Hand-picking is an easy way to control slugs and snails.
- Set a trap. Pour beer into a shallow dish with the rim even with the soil. Slugs will crawl in and drown. Replenish daily.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around tender plants. Slugs will not cross this barrier because it cuts their soft skin. Reapply after a hard rain.
- Wrap stems with copper bands or tape.
- Sprinkle a non-toxic bait with iron phosphate around plants in the evening, following label instructions. It is safe for pets and wildlife.