Gardening is a fun activity. It is very rewarding to see flowers bloom, and be able to have a cup of fresh basil for tonight’s pasta. One could even say maintaining a garden is as easy as a pie. Not when you have pests though. Leaf-eating insects cause a lot of headache and a lot of money to combat. Nothing can be more disheartening than to see your healthy plants become skeletons in the morning all because of those nasty pests. Know the culprits to this tragedy, and how to keep them away.
Common Leaf-Eating Insects
Grasshoppers may look Instagram-perfect sitting on top of a leaf but these can destroy your entire garden overnight.
- Japanese Beetles
Japanese beetles often appear in green and brown colors. Their favorite part is the middle of the leaves. They feed in groups, and feast on morning glories, roses, hollyhocks, and other vegetation. These beetles are in their most active on warm weathers. When you see lacy-appearing leaves during summer, these tiny crawlers are the culprits. This kind of damage can continue to a month or two. Hence, it is best to prevent them as early as possible.
- Tomato Hornworms
From the name itself, these worms love tomatoes. A single tomato hornworm can eat an entire plant in just a few hours. If you are growing tomatoes in your backyard, you better watch out for this type of crawler.
Yes, yes, caterpillars may look cute and all. Sometimes, you can even forgive them for eating your plants’ leaves because you know they will turn into a beautiful butterfly or moth, and can later on help grow your garden come pollination time. However, irregular holes in leaves caterpillars make are sometimes more irritating. If you see one or two caterpillars crawling in your yard, maybe it is alright to let them be. When you see a battalion, however, that is a different story.
Control Pests Naturally
There are ways to control these leaf-eating insects naturally. The easiest way is to manually remove and kill the bugs. Wear protective gear because you would not want disgusting slime in your hands.
If handling pests is not your thing, you can always make a natural bug spray. Mash garlic, and combine it with mint leaves, hot red peppers, and a pan of water. Bring the mixture to a boil, and let it sit overnight. Strain the liquid in the morning, add a dash of dishwashing liquid, and transfer to a spray bottle.
If these fail to work, call a local pest control/termite exterminator company to help you remove these insects for good.
Written by BugOut Pest Control & Lawn Care. BugOut Pest Control & Lawn Care offers the best service for pest control in Columbia, MO.