11 Pests You Probably Didn’t Know Were Destroying Your Plants

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As a homeowner with a garden, it becomes very important to ensure the well-being of the plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables on a periodic basis.

Pests and insects invading a garden is not a new phenomenon. As a homeowner with a garden, it becomes very important to ensure the well-being of the plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables on a periodic basis. Having basic knowledge of the insects that can harm your garden will go a long way and allow you to take the proper steps in case the garden gets infected. Identifying the pest can be done by either recognizing the damage to the plant or spotting a pest around the garden. It is important to keep in mind that most of these uncalled for guests (close to 95 percent) are either helping your garden or are simply harmless.

To simplify your job, we have identified some pests which are rather capable of creating havoc in your garden and the ones you should be on the lookout for. For further information and support services, you can reach out to LINY Tree Service. We will help you identify the issue and guide you through the process that’ll make your garden as good as new.  

Aphids

Aphids are tiny pear-shaped critters with long antennae that can be seen in many colors varying in green, yellow, red and black. These insects generally hang out on fruits, plants, and ornamental plants throughout Northern parts of America. Aphids are attracted to plant sap which causes the foliage to get distorted and the leaves to fall. The honeydew excreted by them on leaves leads to mold growth and virus spread.

Flea Beetle

These aptly named pests, Flea Beetles, are small, black colored beetles that jump when disturbed. They can be seen on an array of fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants and trees. Adult beetles chew into the leaf and create a ton of small holes into leaves and the larvae feeds into the roots of the plant. Flea beetles are most damaging to younger plants that are still growing and maturing.   

Japanese Beetles

Japanese Beetles are metallic blue and green with golden wing covers. The larvae feeds on the lawn grass and roots of other plants whereas the adult beetles skeletonize the leaves, defoliate the plants, and render them lifeless. They have been seen feeding on ornamental plants and growing grass in all eastern states of the Mississippi river.

Grasshopper

Grasshoppers are known to eat food worth half their body weight every day. When grasshoppers hit the garden, no plant of yours is safe. They chew through every plant but especially small grains, corn, alfalfa, soybeans, cotton, rice, clover, grasses, tobacco, carrots, squash, peas and green grass. If proper steps aren’t taken, grasshoppers can destroy your entire garden in a matter of days. They are most likely to cause damage in sub humid, arid conditions though they have been spotted in other parts of the country as well.

Stink Bug

These bugs are spread throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Upper Midwest and along the West Coast in the US. Stink bugs affect a lot of home garden crops, which include beans, corn, fragrant flowers, apples and other fruits. When the stink bugs feed off these crops, they leave behind corky spots which render the crops completely inedible.

Caterpillars

Caterpillars are foliage feeders that are notoriously known to destroy leaves and roots. Though most foliage-feeding caterpillars can also chew flowers, fruits, and leaves they are very host-specific. They damage certain landscape plants or plant families, so be sure to control these pests selectively.

Cutworms

These unusual pests spend most of their days hiding or in the dense crowns of protected host plants and come out of their hiding at night to destroy the foliage. Cutworms also chew holes in the stems of older vegetables, causing the plant to slowly die from an inability to feed itself. Though cutworms regularly target smaller garden vegetables, they may also damage ornamental flowers. 

Leafrollers

Leafrollers are semi opaque caterpillars that feed off tree leaves and fruits. They damage the living foliage by folding leaves together and tying them with the silk thread they produce. In the case of most other foliage-feeders, they start defoliating the leaves of the plants when their numbers are large. Fortunately, this level of damage is usually limited to specific species of plants. However, leafrollers may cause enough stress to fruit-bearing plants to prematurely drop, develop scars or deformations.

Borers

Many moths lay eggs in the damaged or pruned parts of the trees and branches. When these eggs hatch, the larvae starts carving through the bark. Some varieties of moths might burrow only shallowly through the bark while some may continue to burrow until they reach the heartwood of the tree. The trees may be able to recover from some extent of damage but extensive tunneling can cause the branches to weaken and fall or cause severe damage to the water transporting system of the tree.

Leafhoppers

Leafhoppers get their name from their dynamic jumping ability. These pests swiftly jump from one branch to another when disturbed. They cover a variety of different groups of pests, which are capable of damaging a wide spectrum of plants from shrubs and turfgrasses to fruits and vegetables. Leafhoppers feed on the tender shoots by piercing deep into the plant’s tissues and sucking out its nutrients. They feed on the underside of the leaves, which causes it to curl or turn brown on the outer margins.

Cicadas

Once the egg hatches, the cicada will begin feeding on the tree fluids to grow. At this point, it looks like a small ant. Once it grows up a little and starts crawling, it will dig in the soil until it finds the roots. It will start with the smaller roots and work its way up to the main roots. Though it is commonly thought that they actually hibernate, in reality they are constantly digging to finish the roots one by one, which will eventually kill the plant. 

Nitiluid Beetles

Nitiluid Beetles are dull colored beetles with big yellow spots on them that are infamous for feeding on the sap of oak trees, which ultimately causes oak wilt. Oak wilt is an extremely fatal disease amongst oak trees, especially red oak trees, which are widely seen across Eastern US. They get attracted to the saps and then become carriers of the infected spores thus spreading oak wilt further.

These are some of the most commonly found pests that can cause distress in your garden. However, they can be easily managed by taking some basic precautions or you can always give Long Island Tree Service a call and our professionals will be more than happy to work with you on this.

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