Garden Pests: The Good and the Bad

Most of us think of any garden intruder as a pest. The surprising truth is that many garden visitors act as nature’s own pest control. Knowing the difference between garden pests and beneficial bugs can help your plants thrive without the use of pesticides. As a leading pest control provider in Manteca, CA, we can help you identify the positive and negative forces that are part of your garden’s ecosystem.

Destructive Forces

Diminutive, pear-shaped aphids are notorious for ruining homeowners’ gardening and landscaping efforts in Manteca, CA, and the rest of the country. Use neem oil, garlic spray, or floating row covers to stop them from sucking the life out of tree leaves, spreading disease, and promoting mold growth. The flea beetle, a dark-colored beetle, can be found jumping around veggie gardens throughout the United States. Flea beetles ruin young vegetable plants by dining on their roots and gnawing holes into their leaves. Protect your plants with kaolin clay and fabric covers.

Positive Parasites

Nematodes are tiny worms that eliminate garden pests while leaving beneficial bugs alone. These parasites reduce pest populations by entering the flesh or orifices of larvae and pupae. By catching vulnerable invaders when they’re young, nematodes help rid gardens of more than 200 types of pests. Aphid parasites are small wasps that lay eggs inside their prey and consume them from the inside out. Their cruel but effective tactic prevents aphids from wreaking havoc on your backyard plot.

Pest Predators

Although ladybugs symbolize good luck, they’re anything but lucky for aphids, mites, and a variety of other insects and eggs. Encourage them to get comfy in your garden by planting plentiful sources of nectar and pollen. Soldier bugs are equally dangerous to the soft-bodied pest population. The speckled brown, tan, or yellow bugs prey on the worms and caterpillars that threaten to sabotage your gardening efforts. Plant perennial flowers around your garden to provide shelter for these beneficial insects.

For the Bad Pests, Call Advanced IPM

From the holey leaves left behind by caterpillars to the moldy handiwork of the aphid, your plants are vulnerable to damage by a wide range of garden pests. Luckily, beneficial parasites and predators provide a natural form of pest control. If your pest problem goes beyond the realm of gardening, though, call on the professionals. Advanced IPM offers environmentally friendly, effective pest prevention and treatment in Manteca, CA.