Gardening can be a therapeutic experience and seeing your flowers bloom can brighten up your day. Insects occur naturally in the garden, however, some can turn to pests as they munch on the foliage or cause them to shrivel.
Here are a few of the insects that we’re seeing now and how to fix the problem:
Japanese Beetles – Japanese beetle damage can be identified by skeletonized leaves or total defoliation. You may even catch the beetles in the act. Japanese beetles also love to eat rosebuds and will eat them from the inside out. Japanese Beetles lay their eggs in the lawn in late July and August. These eggs will hatch into grubs in late August to early September. Grubs will eat the grass roots in your lawn.
Prevention: To prevent grub damage in your lawn and Japanese Beetles from developing next summer, lay down a grub preventer, such as Scotts Grub Ex before they hatch. If you forget to apply the preventer, apply Bayer 24 Hour Grub Killer Plus as soon as you find grubs. Water thoroughly after application to disperse the product into the soil. Follow instructions on packaging.
Spider Mites – Adult spider mites are about the size of the period at the end of this sentence. Spider mites can be spotted by their feeding marks — light dots that appear on the leaves. You might also spot their thin webbing among the foliage. If they continue to feed, the leaves will turn yellow, dry up and drop off.
Thrips – These slender insects damage plants by sucking the juices. This causes leaves to turn pale and splotchy. With increased exposure to thrips, a plant becomes discolored, twisted and eventually dies.
Defense against Japanese Beetles, Spider Mites and Thrips: As you see these pests in your garden, the best solution is by applying an insecticide, such as Bayer Insect, Disease, and Mite Control. This systemic insecticide will keep a variety of pests away for up to 30 days. Follow instructions on packaging.
For an organic option, try Bonide Neem Oil. Neem Oil is an all-purpose insecticide and fungicide that is derived from the Neem seed. Neem Oil is a contact kill insecticide and is great for a variety of bugs. It’s also perfect for edible gardens!
If you suspect bugs are an issue in your garden, bring in a sample of the plant affected in a sealed bag to any English Gardens store. Our garden pharmacists can diagnose the problem and give you a personalized “Plantscription” with recommendations for care.