How to Treat Common Garden Pests In the US

Gardening is a popular hobby for many people in the United States, but it can be frustrating when pests invade and damage plants. Pest infestations can be difficult to control, but with the right knowledge and strategies on how to kill garden pests, you can protect your garden and keep it healthy.

How to Kill Garden Pests

Here are some common pests that may be found in gardens in different planting regions of the United States, along with tips on how to control them:

1. How to Control Garden Pests in the Northeast:

Garden beetles
Two Japanese Beetles Eating Leaves in a backyard garden.
  • Japanese beetles: These pests feed on the foliage, flowers, and fruit of a wide variety of plants. To control Japanese beetles, handpick them off plants and drop them into a bucket of soapy water. You can also use traps or apply an insecticide.
  • Cabbage worms: These caterpillars feed on the leaves of cabbage, broccoli, and other cole crops. To control cabbage worms, handpick them off plants and destroy them. You can also use floating row covers or apply an insecticide.
  • Slugs: These slimy pests feed on the leaves and stems of plants, causing holes and damage. To control slugs, remove any hiding places and apply slug bait or copper strips around the base of plants.

2. How to Handle Pests in the Southeast:

how to control pests
Harmonia axyridis Harlequin ladybug eating a hunted aphid on plant
  • Squash bugs: These pests feed on the leaves and stems of squash, pumpkin, and other cucurbit crops. To control squash bugs, handpick them off plants and destroy them. You can also use floating row covers or apply an insecticide.
  • Tomato hornworms: These large caterpillars feed on the foliage and fruit of tomato plants. To control tomato hornworms, handpick them off plants and destroy them. You can also use traps or apply an insecticide.
  • Whiteflies: These tiny pests feed on the undersides of leaves and secrete a sticky substance that can cause leaves to yellow and wilt. To control whiteflies, use sticky traps or apply an insecticide.

3. How to Get Rid of Garden Pests in the Midwest:

How to Get Rid of Garden Pests in the Midwest
  • Aphids: These small, sap-sucking insects feed on the foliage and stems of a wide variety of plants. To control aphids, use a strong blast of water to knock them off plants, or apply an insecticide.
  • Corn earworms: These caterpillars feed on the ears of corn, causing damage to the kernels. To control corn earworms, use traps or apply an insecticide.
  • Cutworms: These caterpillars feed on the stems of seedlings and young plants, causing them to topple over. To control cutworms, use collars made of cardboard or aluminum foil around the base of plants, or apply an insecticide.

4. How to Kill Garden Pests in the West:

how to kill garden pests
  • Colorado potato beetles: These pests feed on the foliage of potato plants, causing significant damage. To control Colorado potato beetles, handpick them off plants and destroy them. You can also use traps or apply an insecticide.
  • Leafhoppers: These small, winged insects feed on the foliage of a wide variety of plants, causing yellowing and distortion of the leaves. To control leafhoppers, use sticky traps or apply an insecticide.
  • Thrips: These tiny, slender insects feed on the foliage and flowers of a wide variety of plants, causing distortion and discoloration of the leaves. To control thrips, use sticky traps or apply an insecticide.

Closing Notes – Using Pesticides to Control Pests

how to kill garden pests
Weed and pest control

It is important to note that not all pesticides are effective against all pests, so it’s important to identify the specific pest causing the problem and choose a product that is specifically formulated to control it. Always follow label instructions carefully and use caution when applying pesticides, as they can be harmful to humans and other animals.

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