Bugs that Are Bad for Your Yard and Garden

July 05, 2011

Tent CaterpillarsOne of the most important aspects of summer landscape maintenance and lawn care is pest control. There are a number of plant pests that can do major damage to most landscaping designs. Here are five of the worst pests to find in your garden. Keep an eye out for them!

1. Slugs. These nocturnal mollusks will tear through your West Linn landscaping like a hot knife through butter. They can be especially destructive to succulents. But fear not – these slimy pests can be stopped in their tracks with simple organic slug bait.  Good eco and pet friendly options to slug bait include planting herbs such as Rosemary and Mint or placing crushed egg shells around the plants you want to protect.

2. Aphids. Think of these pests as tiny, soft-bodied vampires that suck the life right out of your plants. If you don’t have a big infestation, spray your plants with a hose every now and then to remove them. If you’ve got aphids everywhere, you’ll probably need to apply some more aggressive landscape maintenance  and lawn care methods.  Buying a box of ladybugs from your local feed store can also help address your aphid problems and provide some fun for the kids.

3. Spider mites. Found mostly in tightly-branched evergreens, these reddish-brown pests will cause foliage to turn yellow. Again, you may need to use aggressive landscape maintenance tactics, such as insecticides, to get rid of these little buggers.  There are some great OMRI certified products (www.omri.org) and horticultural oils to safely remove these pests.

4. Tent caterpillars. Not the worst of the group, but still harmful to most landscape designs, these pests can be identified by the “tents” they produce high in trees. Removing the tent is the best way of getting rid of these pests.

5. Root weevils. Root weevils will cause damage to any West Linn landscaping throughout their entire life cycle, from larva to adult stage. In fact, the adults aren’t as harmful as the grubs. Adult root weevils will chew the outside of leaves, which can cause damage but isn’t fatal. Grubs, however, will surround the trunk of the plant and can quickly kill the root system. Again, there are great OMRI certified products available to safely rid your landscape of these harmful pests.

[Photo by: Patty O’Hearn Kickham]