When insects attack the results are devastating. In some cases, they destroy plants completely. No garden is immune to insects that kill, such as aphids, caterpillars, grasshoppers and Japanese beetles, but you can fight back.
Steps to Control Pests in Vegetable Gardens:
- Identify good and bad bugs. Natural predators, such as ladybugs, feed on other pests. Order live ladybugs from HomeDepot.com and release. If you introduce a natural predator, do not use chemical insecticides.
- Hand-pick caterpillars and grasshoppers and drop into a bucket of soapy water.
- Apply collars or barriers around the base of plants.
- Organic Neem-based pesticides also provide good control. Always follow directions.
- The easiest way to capture insects is with a trap. Place traps 30’ from the plants you are protecting to lure them away from the garden.
- Mulch with aluminum foil to repel aphids and other insects. This is practical only on a small scale.
- Organic BTK is the most effective caterpillar management. It is safe for people, animals and other insects.
- If all else fails, consider chemical pesticides. Check with your Garden Center associate for appropriate vegetable gardening treatments.
Create a habitat for birds and beneficial insects, which feed on pests.