Garden Pest Control – Types of Garden Pests

To the one who thinks, sleeps and eats (oops, sorry) plants, gardening is the best piece of job, but even the most enthusiastic person can’t help but raise his arms in despair when it comes to maintain one infested with pests. This happens because of inadequate info on garden pest control measures; despite umpteen trials, the garden turns into an entomologist’s paradise! However, applying appropriate garden pest control methods have been found to hold results to the maximum!

The simple reason behind is the pest control methods are different for different species of plants; it takes just one wrong step (or spray?) to paint your entire world into brown. Therefore, don’t haste; before embarking upon the different pest control measures, we need to know appropriately the most common garden pests. Else, your quest for freedom may well eradicate all those that are highly needed.

Let’s start with insects, the most common among the garden pests and belonging to the phylum Arthropoda. It’s their six legs with several joints that make them stand out from the rest; another sign that defines them are the three main divisions in their body: the head, the thorax and the abdomen, upon which, the wings (if any) rest. Spiracles (pores) and tracheae (air tubes) form their respiratory system and an exoskeleton (an outer hardened shell) gives them their shape. Moths, flies, beetles and the likes come under this category.

Next are mites from the arachnid (spider) family; four pairs of legs (except woodlice) are the defining factors for them. There are also the ones with tubular bodies with two pairs of legs attached to each segment resembling caterpillars; these are the millipedes.

Among the invisible ones, bacteria and virus is the most common and there are many that are detrimental to plant life. These are the harmful, unicellular pests.

The fungus groups are devoid of chlorophyll and hence must extract their life force from others and causing rotting in plants. However, they are less problematic to get rid of if compared to the mammals and the birds.

Among the mammals, the extremities are the rodents and the bears; they require specially trained forces for complete eradication. But as for the birds, it’s the crows and the blue jays that are considered menaces. And the list stretches to gulls, pigeons, magpies, robins, starlings and sparrows.

This was just an outline of the most common garden pests and when they don’t appear as real threats; however, when they are present by hordes, you need to call for professional exterminators instead of trying to get rid of them with your own efforts.

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Common Garden Pests

It takes a lot to maintain a garden and more so for most of us are ignorant on the proper pest control measures. There have been umpteen instances where lawn pest control methods have been applied to the roof garden or vice-versa but what one must realize is that the pest control methods are different for different species of plants. One wrong step (read spray) and brown is going to be the only hue that shall rule the roost. Hence, before embarking upon the different pest control measures, it’s important that we know the most common garden pests.

Common PestBut a word of caution here; not every insect in the garden are harmful; on the contrary, some of them are highly needed. By the phrase common garden pests, we point towards those who harm severely the plants, trees, flowers and shrubs; sometimes, they even affect the vegetables, the fruits and the flowers.

Natural methods for lawn pest control are thus recommended; these pest control methods only drive or kill the pests without taking their tolls on the vegetation unlike the chemicals. And if you think they are not going to be as effective, there are proven records that they can eliminate the most common garden pests as much as the commercially available synthetic variety.

Common Garden Pests: The Classifications

  • Insects: Scientifically, they are categorized in the phylum Arthropoda (i.e. legs with several joints) and never comprise more than six legs. Their bodies are divided into three main divisions – head, Insectsthorax and abdomen with or without wings (for adults). They breathe through spiracles (pores) and tracheae (air tubes). Their body shapes are defined by an exoskeleton (an outer hardened shell) and develop from larvae to adulthood by partial or complete metamorphosis. E.g. Moths, flies, beetles.
  • Mites: Mites are from the arachnid (spider) family comprising four pairs of legs though woodlice sport seven pairs.
  • Millipedes: These dark red/brown creatures have a tubular body with two pairs of legs on each of their segments. Often they resemble caterpillars, but are not.
  • Bacteria: There are many who prove to be detrimental to the plant life; therefore, under a broader classification, we can term the harmful unicellular organisms as pests.
  • Fungi: These are wefts of threads (hyphae) forming a plant structure(mycelium) but the lack of chlorophyll doesn’t allow photosynthesis for them. Thus, they obtain it either from the living plants or from decomposing organic matter. They are categorized under the classes Phycomycetes (late blight pathogens); Ascomycetes (the cause for most of the bacterial infections in the home gardens) and the Basidiomycetes or the mushroom group causing the rotting of plants.
  • Mammals: These can be as small as the rodents or as large as the bears. The smaller variety eats the vegetation and ruins everything. Examples include armadillos, groundhogs, mice, rats, moles, rabbits and squirrels while the larger mammals like deer, moose and coyotes require experts’ advice to deter and control.
  • Birds: While birds like the Purple Martins are an effective way for pest control, crows and blue jays are considered menaces. And the list stretches to gulls, pigeons, magpies, robins, starlings and sparrows.

The abovementioned just outlined the most common pests and shall help in detecting if certain insects or animals can appear as a real threat; however, in order to know about pest control procedures, it’s always recommended to consult professionals.