As a gardener, you spend time and money ensuring your plants and veggies succeed. Here are the pests that stand in your way and what you can do to stop them.
Defending Your Turf Against Summer Season Garden Pests
Having a great looking lawn and garden means declaring war on pests that are out for destruction. You put plenty of effort and money into your garden, and losing your beloved veggies to nasty critters would be downright tragic. Take a look at these summertime garden pests, learn how to identify them, and what we can do to guard your greens.
CHARACTERISTICS: Aphids come in a variety of shapes and colors (4,400 to be exact), but all types share a common bond: they love to feed on the soft, succulent tissue of your garden plants. And trust us when we say, you don’t want that. Aphids tend to be very small in size, which is where they picked up the nickname, “plant lice.” As you might expect, they tend to reproduce in large numbers, and where there’s one, there are many.
SYMPTOMS: The easiest way to visually tell if aphids have turned your garden into a dinner buffet is by the appearance of twisted, cupped or wrinkled stems, leaves, or flowers. Aphids also produce a sticky secretion that turns black as a result of sooty mold fungus.
TREATMENT: If you see any signs of aphids, you need to act fast. These nasty bugs can take out entire plants and effortlessly spread to others if left untreated.
CHARACTERISTICS: The aptly named armyworm (they travel in packs) aren’t actually worms at all, but caterpillars — highly destructive ones at that. In fact, they can take out an entire garden in one fell swoop. They’re grayish green, normally with light stripes that run lengthwise along their bodies.
SYMPTOMS: They love nibbling on your grass, leaving it with a ragged appearance. Do you have birds constantly feeding on your lawn? This could indicate the presence of armyworms, or other pest. In addition, you may notice “skeletonized” leaves that have been stripped bare within your garden. There’s a good chance armyworms are the culprit and your garden has fallen prey to this formidable enemy.
TREATMENT: Handpick the worms you discover and don’t be tempted to crush them between your thumbs. Instead drop them in a bucket of soapy water.
CHARACTERISTICS: The Spiraling Whitefly, which is most prevalent in Southern Florida, can cause significant damage to a large number of palms, trees and shrubs in a short amount of time. It’s the largest and most aggressive of the whitefly family, plowing through your plants with reckless abandon. They’re a small, unassuming winged bug, and chances are you’ll notice the sticky mess left behind by this bug before you actually see them.
SYMPTOMS: While Whiteflies do weaken the plants they feed and breed on, the biggest problem is the mess they leave behind for you. They secrete a sticky substance referred to as “honeydew” that oozes from the plants and trees they attack and can attract a moldy, sooty buildup. The most obvious indicator of a whitefly infestation is the white spiraling (hence the name) pattern they produce on the bottom of leaves when they lay eggs. It’s just no fun and nearly impossible to clean up. Act fast, because the secretion they leave behind that can spread to other plants and do damage to your pool, cars and house.
TREATMENT: Plain and simple, there’s just no good way to get rid of this mess on your own. But that’s what we’re here for.