control pests so that plants remain healthy and strong
Insect control tips. Some common garden pests
Remember to Water-Water-Water. Healthy plants and soil help prevent insect infestation. There are organic and chemical ways to treat insects - see our Best Feeds professionals for the best solutions for your specific problem.
Many species come in a wide range of colors; usually wingless, they’re equipped with two tubes, called cornicles, at the posterior end.
Target: Any soft plant tissue, including new growth of most woody plants.
Damage: Juices are sucked from tender growth, causing wilting or malformations. Honeydew—the undigested plant sap that aphids excrete—attracts ants and fosters sooty mold. Some aphids transmit viruses.
Earwigs nibble on plants -but they usually do more good than harm, since they eat decaying matter and other insects. Due to their habit of hiding in gnawed fruit, they’re often blamed for the evil deeds of other pests.
Before you take action against earwigs, schedule a nighttime patrol to see if they’re responsible for the damage you’re finding.
Target: Tender plant tips. Damage: Young growth is nibbled; leaves show ragged holes.
Control: Handpicking, trapping
Some 200 species of these pests cause problems. Like aphids (their close relatives), they’re sap feeders, sucking plant juices from leaf undersides. The adults, which look like tiny white moths, fly up in a cloud when disturbed. Some of the nymphal stages resemble scale insects.
Whiteflies are found the year around in warm climates; in colder regions, you’ll see them only during summer. Warm, still air is the perfect environment for whiteflies, making greenhouses a favored haunt—one species is even called the greenhouse whitefly.
Target: Many plants.
Damage: Heavily infested plants lose vigor and may turn yellow, but the biggest problem is usually honeydew, which attracts ants and fosters sooty mold. Some adult whiteflies transmit viruses.