304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
If suitable preventative measures aren’t taken, it may happen apparently overnight and be quite distressing to see your vegetable crops completely destroyed by garden pests. You can take steps to control the garden pest(s) once you’ve identified them. Almost 95% of the insects and other animals you’ll find in a vegetable garden are beneficial or harmless, not pests. The best gardens are brimming with life, and pest control is all about keeping the proper ratio of beneficial pests and wildlife while lowering or eradicating the populations of insects and pests that cause damage. Use of natural and preventative methods—of which there are a few that work for every pest—is the simplest and most economical form of pest control.
The most prevalent and dangerous pests that affect vegetable gardens are listed here.
Allium Leaf Miner
Leeks, shallots, garlic, and onions are all sensitive to this fly species. The leaves and bulb are harmed by the adult fly and maggot, making them vulnerable to decay and fungal infestation. In the spring and fall, young plants should be covered with fine mesh netting if an epidemic is detected.
Animals & Pets
Deer, bunnies, cats, and dogs, etc. Although cats and dogs often don’t consume plants, they can ruin them by fouling on them. In addition to sprays and pellets, there are many electronic gadgets available for repelling animals. Making crops inaccessible to rabbits and deer is your best line of defence because they will cheerfully eat through your vegetable crops and can be quite challenging to catch or get rid of. There are many risk-free products available that give off a fragrance to dissuade grazing animals. When an animal finds a tasty meal in your garden, they will likely return frequently and bring other animals with them. Organic approaches are particularly recommended because the use of poison can harm other creatures.
In our part of the world, aphids, also known as plant lice, greenflies, whiteflies, and blackflies, among other names, are among the most devastating insect pests to garden plants. These small insects create enormous colonies and wreck havoc in vegetable gardens. These are sap-eating insects that will consume almost any garden plant, and as an added bonus, their saliva is poisonous to plants and they frequently spread illnesses as well. Aphid damage will manifest in plants as a loss of vigour, yellowing foliage, curling leaves, stunted growth, and extremely low yields. As natural predators, ladybirds and wasps eat a variety of problem insect species, including aphids, while ignoring plants.
Birds & Butterflies
Birds and butterflies may start to be an issue soon after seeds are sown. By making it difficult for birds to access your vegetable garden, you may prevent them from damaging it. You can also give your garden a chance by placing some mesh netting over newly planted seeds or seedlings. The use of bird netting will also stop butterflies from laying their eggs on your crops. These eggs hatch into caterpillars, which will obliterate crops like cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables. Although the netting can be placed directly on the planted area, it should be supported to raise it off the plants once they begin to grow.
There are numerous ways to scare away birds, including the tried-and-true scarecrow, and each has various degrees of success. Crops can be surrounded with bird fright line, which can also be used to scare away birds with audio and video recording. The fear line creates a mild vibration and hums slightly with the breeze. It also helps to hang other little reflecting objects like foil scraps or old CDs from a line, although the birds may grow accustomed to them if their placement is not altered from time to time. While it is a little more aesthetically pleasing than placing CDs across the vegetable garden, we advise utilising the birds away kit.
Cabbage Root Fly
The little, grey cabbage root fly resembles a small house fly in size. Brassica seedlings are where it lays its eggs, which hatch into maggots and then burrow underground to eat the fresh roots of your plants. Due to the injured roots, plants will start to wilt and turn discoloured. By digging up the plant and looking at the roots, it is possible to identify the cabbage root fly. A cabbage collar or other similar piece of material wrapped around the base of a plant will stop the fly’s maggots from getting to the roots, making this one of the simpler garden pests to eradicate.
Cabbage White Butterfly
All brassicas are susceptible to severe damage from the caterpillar of the cabbage white butterfly, which can remove leaves and tunnel into roots. Brassica leaves are where the butterfly lays her eggs, and as soon as the eggs hatch, the caterpillar begins to consume. Remove caterpillars and eggs with caution, and cover plants with netting or little polytunnels to protect them. The eggs, which are yellow, will be hidden under the foliage. By suspending feeders nearby, you can encourage predatory birds.
The Cabbage Whitefly, an aphid (similar to a greenfly but white), is less bothersome than other cabbage pests but is still important to watch out for. The small white adults are insects, and you can locate them on the underside of the leaves. They produce “honeydew,” a gooey fluid that will likely later result in a grey mould. At the plant’s base, remove any yellowing leaves since they might be hiding aphid eggs. Whitefly, honeydew, and grey mould can all be removed with a powerful water jet.
Carrot, parsnip, and celery roots become inedible and susceptible to rot when fly larvae burrow into them. Using polythene or screens with a 2 foot/60 centimetre mesh will keep the low flying bug away. Putting onions or other pungent plants close by will cover up the smell of carrots that draws flies.
Cabbage and other brassica vegetables, peppers, and tomatoes are favourites of cutworms. Their names come from the fact that in mid- to late-summer, hungry moth larva feed on the roots and stems of vegetable plants, causing the entire plant to wilt or get severed at the base. Hoeing and weeding the soil throughout the growing season will help to expose the larvae and stop them from further pupating.
On the vegetable plot, rodents including mice, squirrels, voles, moles, and rats can cause problems but can be readily avoided. Throughout the year, mice and voles are active and eat stored food as well as germination-ready seeds, plant stems, and tree bark. Rats are omnivorous and can be attracted to a hot steaming compost heap in particular. Rodents can be trapped, or a cat can be introduced. Most of the time, barriers are effective, especially electronic ones that generate multi-frequency noise to prevent them. Effective prevention measures include removing or eliminating any potential nesting sites for rodents, such as long grass or the area beneath a porch.
Numerous species of tiny, white insects known as “whiteflies” feed on the foliage of plants, and the larvae leave a sticky coating that can lead to mould. They can completely devastate a greenhouse or polytunnel as they flit from plant to plant. The presence of spiders should be encouraged, and regular soapy solution spraying will help to control them.
Green Gardener frequently tolerate this and even refer to it as “nature’s tax” because many pests will continue to exist in the garden and cause only minor crop harm. The amount of harm that a gardener can stand is entirely up to them. The vegetable producer can spot possible issues and take action early enough to stop more damage by understanding the pests in the garden.