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Garden Pests to Watch Out For And How to Stop Them

Garden Pests to Watch Out For And How to Stop Them

Garden Pests to Watch Out For And How to Stop Them

Posted April 23, 2021

A wise person once said, “Gardens are our way of communing with nature.” Our flowers certainly make the planet prettier, and our vegetable beds take nourishment from the soil and bless our bodies with all the goodness that Mother Earth has to offer. 

And then come the bugs!

Now pests certainly have their place in the ecosystem — after all, it is a bug-eat-bug world out there (and hooray for that!). But problems occur when there aren’t enough bug-eating bugs to keep the plant-eating villains from ruining our little “vegetable” corners of the world. Rodents can also be a problem for budding gardens.

Here are a handful of the usual suspects, and a tip or two on what you can do to prevent them from wreaking havoc on your huckleberry bushes … and the like:


These pear-shaped bugs suck plant sap from most fruits and vegetables, flowers, ornamentals, and shade trees. These guys leave a secretion on foliage that allows for mold growth and spreads viral diseases. To control these bugs:

  • Use a strong spray of water to wash aphids off of plants.
  • Encourage natural predators such as aphid midges, lacewings, and ladybugs.
  • Cover plants before infestation starts, when feasible.


Cutworms are fat, one-inch-long moth larvae that hide beneath leaves or within the top layer of soil during the day and feed on plants at night. They typically attack stems, the first part of a plant they encounter, so if a newly planted seedling has been felled (like a tree in the forest), that’s a sign of cutworms. To control these destructive creatures, try these methods:

  • Protect young seedlings with collars made from plastic drinking cups or cardboard rolls from toilet paper.
  • Cultivate soil shallowly before planting and remove the curled up cutworms by hand (or let early birdies do the dirty work).
  • Consider planting seedlings a few weeks later, when they’ve grown thicker stems to resist cutworms.

Japanese Beetles

Beetles are the most common type of insect. There are more varieties of beetles than you can shake a stick at — about 400,000 different types. And almost all of them like to nibble on the leaves and stems of our garden plants — not good! Especially the invasive Japanese Beetle which first showed up in North America around 1916. To control these bugs:

  • You can simply shake them off your plants … usually in the early morning or at dusk; having them land in a bucket of soapy water will help remedy the problem.
  • Spraying insecticidal soaps can help eliminate them.
  • Cover plants before infestations occur, when feasible


Adult leafminers are little flies that “buzz under the radar” so to speak, because they’re not the problem. It’s their tiny, brown or green larvae working their way inside plant tissue that puts them on the naughty list. The most common garden plants they go after include spinach, chard, beets, nasturtiums, and blueberries. To control these bugs:

  • Remove affected leaves and stems because the larvae are tough to get as they’ve borrowed inside the leaves and stems.
  • Including flowering herbs in the garden attracts beneficial insects that help control the leafminers.
  • Cover plants when feasible helps keep the adults from laying eggs on the plants.

Slugs and Snails

Although slugs and snails (snails are the ones with shells) are not insects, these land-dwelling mollusks highly favor plant seedlings — of just about any variety. A sure sign that you have a problem is if you see a slimy trail around the garden. They feed at night or on a rainy day — both times you’re unlikely to be around. To control these bugs:

  • Watering in the morning helps reduce the moisture later in the day — they prefer to hang out on wet foliage.
  • Placing copper strips around plants can prevent feeding as there is a chemical reaction with their slime. 
  • Hand pick them off plants and place them in a bucket with soapy water

If you are starting to see too many garden pests around, you can give us a call at FOX Pest Control and we’ll send a licensed and certified technician to your place the same day. Just poke (855) 953-2002 into your phone, or submit a contact form here; and we’ll be there to help.

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