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  • Writer's pictureDash Lawn Care

Bugs and Insects to NOT have in your garden

There are many bugs and insects that are good for your lawn and garden, but there are just as many, if not more, that can ruin it. You need to know what you’re looking for so that you’re able to stop it before the effects of these pests become irreversible.

Here are some of the most common bugs and insects to look out for so that you can keep your garden safe.


Aphids are a name you’ve probably heard, but you might not know exactly how destructive such tiny insects can be. They suck plant sap which, in time, will cause leaves to fall and foliage to distort. Also, the dew they excrete onto plants encourages the growth of mould which supports the spread of disease.

Good Housekeeping has a useful list of ways to prevent these insects:

  • Wash plants with a strong spray of water

  • Encourage native predators and parasites such as aphid midges, lacewings, and lady beetles

  • When feasible, cover plants with floating row covers

  • Apply hot-pepper or garlic repellent sprays

  • For severe problems, apply horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, or neem oil

Aphids are normally found on fruits and vegetables as well as on flowers, ornamental plants, and shade trees, so that’s where you’ll want to focus your attention on your hunt for these pests.

Gall Mites

You might not have heard of these bugs before but you’ve almost certainly seen their effects. Gall mites are what cause those angry bits of red and green to stick out like pimples on leaves. Generally, gall mites are harmless to the health of your plants, but they can make leaves look pretty unsightly.

“If you catch a gall mite infestation early enough, you can simply pinch off the affected areas of the plant. If the mites are already widespread, you’ll cause more harm than good with this approach. There are no pesticides available that are effective with gall mites.” - Plant Snap

Tent Caterpillars

These bugs are notorious and are found in large numbers all over Canada. Tent caterpillars multiply rapidly and can destroy entire trees and shrubs in no time. The good thing about these bugs, though, is that they are easy to identify through the tent-like nests they create in trees and shrubs.

“The best time for tent caterpillar removal is early morning or evening while they’re still likely to be in the nest. Introducing natural enemies, such as various types of parasitic wasps, can also help reduce tent worm numbers. Creating a welcoming environment for birds is also an excellent tent caterpillar home remedy.” - Gardening Know How

Tomato Hornworms

A tomato hornworm is a kind of caterpillar that most commonly affect tomato, eggplant, pepper, and potato plants. They are bright green in colour and like to hide on plant stems, making them rather difficult to spot unless you’re actively looking for them.

The Pest Blog has a list of tips to get rid of these bugs:

  • Look for them closely under leaves and handpick them. Once you have removed them from your garden, put them in a bowl of water and soap to kill them.

  • Till the soil in your garden before and after the gardening season to destroy the larvae which are usually laid at the surface of the soil.

  • Keep beneficial pests around such as wasps and ladybugs who feed on tomato hornworms and their larvae.

With the right care and the right encouragement of beneficial insects and bugs, it’s possible to avoid infestations of these pests. You just have to know what you’re looking for and how to deal with them, because each pest thrives and dies differently.

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