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5 dangerous pests and how to control them

With their tiny bodies, perseverance, and avid huger, pests move in groups to feast on your garden. Your lawn now has become thrown territory. Some pests are a little bigger and may be much cuter.

They seem gullible but in no way as innocent as they seem. Wildlife is not interfering with our life; we are who intervened in it. We are the intruders. However, you have to fight for your plants.

Pests come in many shapes and forms and require different techniques to eradicate or control. In North America, the wildlife is very rich. Thus, you are expecting many uninvited visitors to your lawn.

Let’s inspect a list of 5 of these potential intruders and how to put an end to their lit parties.

1- The Japanese beetle

The Japanese beetle is very detrimental to your plants. They feast on roots, foliage, flowers, and fruits of over 300 different ornamental and agricultural plants.

The vicious insect was first discovered in New Jersey in the early 1900s. It has a widespread presence in the eastern side of the United States.

To control such a pest, you have a handful of options ranging from pesticides to even biological warfare.

• Pesticides: When choosing the best pesticides many factors are at play, including the form of the targeted insects (whether they are adults or grubs) and the potential effects of the elected pesticide on your plants which may depend on their type.

The biological option: the most common methods in biological warfare against the Japanese beetle are parasites, nematodes, and fungi.

As an example, a parasite like a nematode would hunt grubs in the soil and inoculates them with the bacteria.

2- The aphids

Aphids are small insects with soft bodies and long slender mouthparts used to pierce stems, leaves, and other tender plant parts and absorb fluids. They have long legs and antennae.

Depending on the species, aphids could be green, yellow, brown, red, or black.

A moderate number of aphids are not very hazardous to your lawn. However, a large number of them could wipe it clean. As if that weren’t enough, aphids also transmit diseases through viruses from one plant to another, infecting several plants including squash, cucumber, pumpkin, melon, bean, potato, and lettuce .

To control the aphids, you may resort to two creative ways, in addition to pesticides. The first is to prepare a simple solution of water and soap or essential oils to make an aphid spray.

You may also use neem oil which is a natural pesticide extracted from the seeds of the neem tree. It is proven to be an effective repellent of aphids and other insects.

The second creative option is a biological one. You could hire the services of parasitic wasps which are natural enemies of the aphids. They lay their eggs in the aphids and are not dangerous to your lawn.

3- Rabbits

Don’t let the innocent façade of those furry creatures deceive you. They may share cats many cute videos on the internet. But rabbits can harm your lawn.

Feral rabbits are very adaptive and hungry too. They are among the most widespread mammals in the United States.

You can identify rabbit attacks on your lawn by observing any round droppings, gnawing on stems of older woody plants, and evenly-cut stems and leaves. To control rabbits, you may opt for either all of the following three options:

1- Make your lawn less attractive

You can work on removing all that may attract rabbits to your law, including brush and stone piles, and weed patches. Also, you can locate plants away from the edges of thickets and woods.

2- Don’t spare the rod

You can keep rabbits away from your lawn with a dog. A playful golden retriever will do the trick. However, a dog may come with its trouble, as it will require extra care and containment within the area of your lawn.

That shouldn’t discourage you from taking that solution, but you should find creative ways to applicate the concept.

3- A fix that may not be perfect is repellents. Not all rabbit repellents are effective. So, you can use them beside other solutions.

4- Slugs

Despite being soft-bodied small creatures, slugs are also considered a pest that retains a harmful effect on plants.

Usually, they feed at night and gather more in the summer when humidity and temperature increase.

They feed on a variety of plants including vegetables and ornamental plants. Among their best meals are peas, beans, lettuce, celery, and potato tubers.

To control slugs, it is better not to use pesticides, as slugs would must probably invade your garden in large numbers, and engulfing them in chemicals will also destroy your lawn.

The best tactics are a mixture of biological control and slick solutions.

1- Use the enemy of the enemy

Slugs are lower in the food chain and they have some tough enemies that you can invite to your lawn to feast.

Nematodes are a good option. You can spread them over the soil and wait. They are effective in infecting slugs with deadly diseases.

Other predators include birds, frogs, toads, hedgehogs, slowworms, and ground beetles. These creatures should be lured to your garden by a plethora of strategies including growing trees and shrubs and choosing nectar-rich flowers.

2- Some traps and re-engineering

Other control options include setting a trap with orange, grapefruit, or melon skins which will be left to attract slugs.

You can also partially fill a jar with beer and leave it near plants targeted by slugs for the same purpose of luring them in.

Another strategy is to use copper barriers around your plants which was proven to be effective in repelling slugs and snails.

5- Armyworm

A very sneaky creature, the armyworm prefers to attack warm days. It is native to Eastern, North, and South America. 

Armyworms can destroy your whole lawn in a few days. They feed on the foliage. Signs of armyworms attack are chewed and torn leaves.

To control the armyworm, you can use insecticides. Chlorantraniliprole, thiamethoxam, lambda cyhalothrin, and spinetoram are recommended.

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