Being a gardener is a lot of fun, but there are frustrating aspects to it. A lot of plants are susceptible to pests, and you have to be on the lookout for pest invasions. Here are some tips and tricks in identifying pests and diseases in plants:
Look out for Leaf Galls
Are you seeing strange bumps on some of your plants’ leaves? You are probably looking at leaf galls. Leaf galls form in response to irritation from different types of insects. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to tell what specific insects are causing the problem.
Once you notice leaf galls, the insects that caused them have probably moved on. Your best bet is to spray your plants every spring with a broad-spectrum insecticide to prevent new infestations from occurring. Some of the plants that are particularly susceptible to forming leaf galls are maple, elm, and oak.
Fend off Japanese Beetles
Japanese beetles are every rose gardener’s worst nightmare. These iridescent green beetles wreak havoc on plant leaves and can easily destroy entire gardens.
If you start noticing the beetles on your plants’ leaves, you need to take quick action. The best course of action is spraying with insecticidal soap. While this is a fairly low-tech method, it works relatively well.
The most frustrating aspect of dealing with Japanese beetles is that it is rarely possible to eliminate them entirely. Instead, population control should be your goal. Make sure you only have a few Japanese beetles in your garden at any given time. Once their numbers start increasing, it’s time to bring out the insecticidal soap or get some professional help.
Japanese beetles do not prey on all plants equally. They are particularly fond of roses and crabapple trees. Avoid the temptation to use pheromone-based Japanese beetle traps. These traps are effective at attracting Japanese beetles, but they can give you counterproductive results. It’s not uncommon for Japanese beetle traps to attract more Japanese beetles to your garden than they trap. Stick with insecticidal soap; it really is one of the only ways to deal with Japanese beetles.
Fighting pests is something you will just have to do as a gardener if you want to be successful. Make it a routine part of your gardening activities. Don’t hesitate to get professional help if your plant pest problems start to spiral out of control. Controlling pests can be a lot easier if you have a professional assist you.