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Top 10 Destructive Garden Pests

Written by: Editorial Staff

April 14, 2011
Filed Under Garden and Lawn 


A list of the top ten destructive garden pestsContributed by Denise McGill, Top 10 Guru

Garden pests aren’t only destructive insects and wildlife, but can be as cute and cuddly as the family pet.

Each year garden lovers spend hundreds of dollars and concoct innovative ways to deter these pests.

So, if there is some “stinky” business going on in your garden, read about the top ten destructive garden pests and some solutions on how rid your garden of them.

10. Ants

One of the top ten destructive garden pests

Ok … so maybe this anthill is a little over exaggerated, but you get the picture. An ant colony right in the middle of your prize azaleas does not add to the picture perfect floral landscape you had in mind. A little honeysuckle flavored ant bait is an all-natural remedy to rid your garden of these industrious pests.

9. Raccoons

One of the top ten destructive garden pests

This masked duo can find all kinds of trouble to get into especially when it comes to tender greens in the garden. A virtual buffet for two marauding bandits, raccoons can destroy in minutes what you have worked so hard to maintain. They may look cute and are comical to watch, be just beware – raccoons can also carry rabies.

8. Snails and slugs

One of the top ten destructive garden pests

For such a slimy, slow-moving creature, a snail lets his presence be known by leaving a slobbery trail of goo behind his path of destruction. Just follow the trail and you are likely to find tender foliage with large holes chewed through them. They love damp, shady spots and can be found under rocks and well mulched garden areas. Here’s one creative solution for the beer lovers out there to rid your garden of these pests. Snails are attracted to the yeast in beer…so sink a shallow pan into your garden filled with stale beer and they are doomed to fall in and drown.

7. Whitefly

One of the top ten destructive garden pests

Whiteflies team up and travel in swarms to settle underneath the leaves of vegetables you planned on having for salad that night. Gently brush up against your broccoli or lettuce and you will see a white cloud of sap-sucking insects frantically flying around your shoes before resettling on their next meal. A natural alternative to keeping these pests under control is having a cedar bat house nearby. As night janitors, bats come out to clean up your unwanted guests.

6. Caterpillar

One of the top ten destructive garden pests

At one time or another, most of us have collected these fuzzy little creatures. We gently placed them in a jar, punched holes in the lid so they would get plenty of air, and waited patiently for them to become a beautiful….moth. Caterpillars have a voracious appetite and will continue their march stripping leaves off fruit trees and garden vegetables. Caterpillars have their place, just not in your prize beefsteak tomato plant. Caterpillars and grubs can be controlled with nematodes among other natural methods.

5. Beetles

One of the top ten destructive garden pests

They come in all shapes and sizes and crunch if you accidentally step on one. (Still makes me cringe) Hard shelled and armed for battle, these creepy crawlies are definitely not welcome in the garden. You can find them on your plants and in the surrounding soil making themselves quite at home. All-natural remedies are available at your local garden store.

4. Fido

One of the top ten destructive garden pests

Imagine this cute little pup at warp speed headed for your well-tended flowerbed! It won’t be a pretty sight when he hits the nice tilled soil and starts to dig as fast as he can…dirt flying furiously behind him with the occasional daffodil in the mix. For this member of the family, fencing is a must because Fido just doesn’t have any manners when he’s around a garden. Some dogs (and cats) will respond to crystal or spray repellent by staying out of the garden so it is worth a try as well.

3. Gopher

One of the top ten destructive garden pests

Does ugly come to mind with yellow teeth and all? This critter lurks underground and does most of his damage there. You can be sipping a lemonade on the patio and all of a sudden your green beans disappear underground. To take care of this beady-eyed character, a sonic gopher repeller should be on hand when you start to see dirt mounds appear.

2. Deer

One of the top ten destructive garden pests

If you live in an area where deer are plentiful, expect them to help themselves to not only your garden, but general landscaping as well. In a hard winter, everything is fair game from juniper bushes to tender shoots of your fruit trees. Deer are a beautiful part of wildlife so build a barrier of fencing or use an all-natural animal repellent or and audio deer chaser that won’t harm these delicate creatures to keep them out of a garden and out of trouble.

1. Grasshopper

One of the top ten destructive garden pests

The number one of all pests of a garden or a large field of crops comes in biblical proportion. By far the most devastating of garden pests, is the grasshopper. They have been to known to descend in swarms and wipe out entire areas of vegetation with their infestation. They can eat up to ½ their body weight each day. To help combat these pests, mow a “clean” strip between grassy fields and your garden to slow their migration.

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