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If you have a garden, you will have pests! Here, we will guide you on how to identify and get rid of garden pests.

Whether you are a seasoned gardener or just starting out, dealing with common garden pests can be a daunting task. Here, we will guide you on how to identify these pesky invaders and keep your garden pest-free, ensuring your garden will thrive all season long. From aphids and slugs to snails and caterpillars, we will explore effective and environmentally-friendly methods to deter these garden intruders. You’ll learn how to identify the signs of pest infestation, prevent future attacks, and protect your delicate flowers and plants. So, roll up your sleeves and get ready to tackle those unwanted visitors head-on. Let’s dive in and unlock the secrets to a vibrant and thriving garden this spring.

Identifying the pest

Check your garden regularly, especially leaves for any pest damage. If you see that you have more than one unwanted visitor in your garden, identify what they are, then treat one pest at a time.

Here’s how to recognise these pests by the leaf damage they cause:

Chewing:

Chewed leaves caused by caterpillars

Caterpillars are the main culprits of small holes chewed through the leaves. They can look a bit like a window pain in the leaf.

Piercing and discolouration:

Discoloured leaves caused by stink bugs or mites

If you notice the leaf is discoloured, mottling curled with holes and/or dead spots, you have mites and stink bugs.

Rasping, chewing and snail / slug trails:

Chewed leaves caused by snails

If you see the leaf is bleached and dry, snails and/or slugs have moved in.

Deformed:

Deformed leaves caused by aphids

If the leaf is damaged with a deformed shape, this is caused by aphids.

Preventing garden pests through proper garden maintenance

Keeping on top of the garden regularly will keep a lot of the pest, starting with the soil. Healthy, fertile, living soil helps the plants to prevent pest problems.  There are 5 main steps to keep your soil healthy:

  • Limit soil disturbance: believe it or not, turning the soil frequently can do more harm than good. Minimising the movement of the soil will protect the soil’s surface, prevent water runoff, keep the soil aerated, and protect the soil microbes and earthworms.
  • Compost: adding a good layer of compost to the soil each spring. The compost is a nutritional supplement to the soil that will in turn keep the plants healthy.
  • Mulch: A decent layer of mulch around the plants not only keeps the weeds at bay , it also retains water, and maintain the soil temperature.
  • Rotate crops: plant your favourite plants, flowers or vegetables in different parts of the garden to get the best yield out of your crop. Pests such as grubs and maggots will grow in numbers when plants are always planted in the same beds.
  • Plant cover crops: Once the growing season is over, planting a green manure enhances the fertility of the soil ready for the next growing season.

Natural pest control methods for gardens

Aphids:

Aphids are sap-sucking insects which attack a broad range of plants. You will find them on roses, stone fruit, citrus, orchids, annuals, herbs, vegetables, flowering ornamentals, bulbs etc…

For ornamental plants, spray them with Eco-Neem, this works in multiple ways with the two main actions being suppression of insect appetite (they starve to death) and restricting growth (unable to moult successfully).

For veggies and ornamental plants, spray OCP Eco-Oil. You can spray and eat on the same day with Eco-Oil.

Both Eco-Neem and Eco-Oil is safe for pets, birds, lizards and beneficial insects including bees.

SHOP OCP ECO-OIL | SHOP OCP ECO-NEEM

Caterpillars:

Caterpillars like to chew into plant tissue and commonly feed on foliage, young stems and buds. They vary in colour and size and most are great at hiding from hungry predators so they’re not always easy to find. However they have enormous appetites and can devour large sections of a plant very quickly so you’ll certainly see the damage. Another tell-tale sign of a caterpillar attack is often you’ll see their droppings left on lower leaves.

Apply Yates Nature’s Way Caterpillar Killer on the surface of the leaves and the caterpillars. It is specifically for caterpillars and safe for beneficial insects such as ladybugs and bees.

SHOP YATES NATURE’S WAY CATERPILLAR KILLER

Mites:

Mites are small eight legged creatures which suck out the contents of plant cells. There are different types but most are less than 1mm in size making them difficult to see. They like to hang out on the underside of leaves and as mite numbers grow the speckling on the leaves becomes more pronounced until leaves look bronzed, silvery or grey.

Fine spider webbing is also noticeable when mite numbers are large (mites are in the spider family).

For ornamental plants, spray them with Eco-Neem, this works in multiple ways with the two main actions being suppression of insect appetite (they starve to death) and restricting growth (unable to moult successfully).

For veggies and ornamental plants, spray OCP Eco-Oil. You can spray and eat on the same day with Eco-Oil.

Both Eco-Neem and Eco-Oil is safe for pets, birds, lizards and beneficial insects including bees.

SHOP OCP ECO-OIL | SHOP OCP ECO-NEEM

 

Stink Bugs:

Bronze Orange Bugs or Stink Bugs are smelly, ugly bugs which crawl over your citrus. Commonly called stink bugs as they eject a foul liquid as their defence mechanism. This liquid will burn skin and eyes on contact, so always wear gloves.

These bugs change colour as they grow. Young green nymphs hatch from eggs then turn orange/pink as they grow before eventually becoming black when fully grown and are about 25mm long.

Final tips for maintaining a pest-free garden.

  • Always wear protective equipment if you are spraying any pest control.
  • Spray in the early morning or around dusk when the insects are active.
  • Avoid spraying during windy conditions as drift will occur.
  • Healthy plants are best able to cope with pests.
  • Experiment with different strategies if at first you don’t succeed. Remember, you are looking to minimise pest damage and not eliminate completely

2 Comments

  • Vee Hunt says:

    How to control stink bugs? I have been cutting the branches they sit on and drowning them before they reach the adult stage but this leaves the citrus tree decimated. Is there a better way? No amount of spray has any effect nor does leaving bottles of beer to tempt them to party and drown. I have three lime trees of varying sizes, one lemon, one lemonade and one tangelo.

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