Protecting Your Garden – Different Pests You Should Look Out For
No garden is ever without some kind of pest. If your garden is beautiful, if it is well cared for and lush, insects will obviously be drawn to it. There are many ways to control these pests and it is important to know exactly how to identify them so you will not ultimately get rid of insects that are actually beneficial to your garden. Identifying and controlling pests successfully will ensure your garden grows healthy and without interruption. You will have to look out for pests during summer, because this is when most insects reach their adult stages in their lifecycles and need food and a good habitat to lay eggs. Be especially on the look out for Japanese beetles, aphids, caterpillars and white butterflies. Look for damage on plants (bite marks or black spots) and then determine what you will do. The best way to go is the organic way, because this protects your plants and the environment immensely.
Symptoms that your plants might be aphid victims are when the leaves curl, when you see many ants moving up and down the stems or when the plant has little black marks around the flower heads or the stem. Especially vegetables and fruits like tomatoes and strawberries are usually victims of these pests and they are successfully controlled if you plant nasturtiums near the plants. You can hose the plants off to get rid of aphids and even use your hands to press these little bugs off. Use vinegar to chase away the ants and introduce ladybugs to your garden, because these helpful bugs feed on aphids. Spraying highly diluted dish washing liquid on the plant also helps, but can harm the plant.
The White Butterfly is especially attracted to cabbages and lays yellow eggs under the leaves. The eggs hatch into caterpillars and symptoms are chewed, broken leaves, small green and brown worms on leaves, bad growth and leaves turning yellow or brown and falling off. Caterpillars feed on most plants leaves, but go especially for vegetables. The best way to prevent them from destroying your plants is to cover plants with mesh and to grow nasturtiums close to them. Other ways are to find eggs under leaves and destroy them before they hatch into caterpillars and to water plants regularly. Try not to plant very colourful plants and flowers near vegetables and draw birds to your garden to eat the bugs.
When removing insects and pests from a garden, it is very important to think about how Mother Nature would do it, because this will naturally be the most successful way. Draw insects to your garden that will feed on other “bad” insects. You can also take some pots that are either broken or small and punch holes in them. Set them upside down where toads can get in – this will help control many problem insects.Praying mantis species are another to have, but they consume good insects as well, so limit them. Other good insects to be able to identify and look out for are “assassin bugs”, dragonflies, and parasitic wasps.