Don’t Let Garden Pests Eat Up Your Veggies!
Controlling garden pests is a high priority for vegetable gardeners. Pest management can be done naturally or with the help of insecticides. Take special care when using any chemicals. Your strategy for dealing with insect problems may depend on whether you are planting outdoors or doing container gardening.
The Danger of Pesticides
Many pesticides stick to vegetable surfaces and are toxic to humans. Make sure any products you choose can be safely used with edible plants. If you are doing indoor gardening, you also need to see if the chemical is safe for use in your home.
Using organic insecticides is no guarantee of safety. Some of these are actually more hazardous to humans than synthetic chemicals. Either way, you should always thoroughly wash all the vegetables you grow.
Common Pest Species
Here are some of the most common garden pests: beetles (especially Japanese beetles), caterpillars, squash bugs, grubs, mites, moles, slugs, snails, spider mites, and weevils. Explore this section to learn how to identify and get rid of these problems.
The degree of harm a pest does sometimes depends on the exact species. Some ants are very destructive while others are beneficial. Aphids are usually detrimental, but some are better than others. Many nematode species are bad; others are great for your vegetable garden.
Don’t Scare Off The Good Guys
Of course, the last thing you want to do is harm beneficial creatures. Fortunately, small gardens can usually be kept reasonably free of pests without the use of toxins. This is the best option for your family and for the environment.
Some insects can help contain your critter problem in a natural way. Other bugs benefit the plants directly and help create a larger and healthier harvest. Some enrich the soil, others eat pests, and still others pollinate your vegetable’s flowers. These good guys include earthworms, ladybugs, praying mantids, wasps, and bees.
Other animals are not really harmful to your crop, but are usually an indication that you do have unseen pests somewhere. A garden snake won’t eat any plant in your vegetable garden; but its presence indicates you may have other garden pests such as field mice.
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