9 Flower Garden Pests and How to get Rid of Them

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flower garden pests

No one likes to have flower garden pests on their flowers and foliage in the garden.

I’m sure, you don’t like them as well.

These flower garden pests can wreak havoc on your flowers and Hungary insects will make them their meal, thus destroying them.

However, some of these pests will do more than just snack on your plants.

They can introduce fungi and other diseases that can sound the death knell for your favorite flowers.

Fortunately, it is possible to keep these visitors away from your flowers and their foliage.

Since some of these pesticides can hut the beneficial bugs that can actually help your plants, you can try some control measures first before resorting to the strong stuff.

Let’s learn more about them in detail and how you can get rid of them.

1# Aphids

If you are an expert gardener, then you will be one of those gardeners that leather the presence of tiny aphids on their roses, honeysuckle, and other flowering foliage growth tips in the springtime.

Moreover, the sucking action of these insects can cause stunted growth and deformed leaves and flowers.

However, aphids bring even more havoc to your flower garden by transmitting plant viruses.

Furthermore, they can also foster the growth of black sooty mold fungus.

flower garden pests, aphids

You can naturally remove aphids by using:

Plant sweet alyssum in the flower garden to draw beneficial wasps.

Include cosmos to attract hungry lacewings and add penstemon or yarrow to attract ladybugs.

You can also use insect soap and a strong blast of water to take care of heavy infestations.

Encourage ladybugs in your garden.

A single ladybug can eat as many as 5,000 aphids in its 1-year lifespan and larvae eat hundreds before they pupate.

Learn more about Fungi in Plants- How to Control It here.

2# Borers

Borers are insidious pests and can destroy your flowering plants from the inside out.

Moreover, the worst type of borer in your flower garden is the Iris Borer, which will make a tunnel through an entire iris rhizome.

It will, thus, leave bacterial rot in its wake.

If you notice sawdust material around the base of your irises or ragged leaf margins, you should be suspicious about their presence.

Pinprick holes in the leaves of the iris are the signs and symptoms of tiny caterpillars.

flower garden pests, borers

This shows that they have infiltrated the leaves and are making their way down into the rhizomes.

You can take the following steps to prevent and remove them:

Discourage borer by removing iris leaves in the fall which provides a host for borer moth eggs.

In the spring season, you can apply systemic pesticides or nontoxic spray.

Furthermore, the best non-toxic control is to dig up the affected plant after it completes flowering.

Trim out the rotten rhizomes and replant the good portions.

Learn more about Pest Management in Agriculture here.

3# Leafhoppers

Leafhoppers insects look innocuous enough and are about an eighth of an inch long.

These green insects do not congregate in large numbers on your plants and hop away when your approach.

However, when you are not noticing them, they will inject toxins every time their mouthparts are into the underside of the foliage of the flower.

Moreover, this allows the damage to travel beyond the chewed part of the leaf, thus, showing up as distorted leaf tips and edges.

These insects also spread the aster yellows virus.

flower garden pests, leafhoppers

In order to remove them you can:

Remove debris from the garden at the end of the season. This will help to eliminate overwintering sites.

Use floating row covers to prevent leafhoppers from reaching your plants and flowers.

Moreover, you can Blast leafhopper nymphs from plants with a strong jet of water to remove them.

You can also spray adults with insect soap, and keep dandelion and thistle weeds away from your flowers as they can provide cover for these plants.

Encourage beneficial insects like ladybugs, lacewings, and pirate bugs which all will prey on the eggs and larvae of leafhoppers.

Learn more about Abiotic Plant Problems here.

4# Mealybugs

These flower garden pests or bugs do not draw much attention to themselves as they are only 3-16 inches long and move very slowly.

Moreover, the honeydew they excrete supports sooty mold growth and when it gathers on foliage, it can reduce photosynthesis.

Thus, it will weaken your plant and make it more susceptible to garden pests.

In case you notice white fuzzy growths on your plants, you may have mealybugs on them.

flower garden pests, mealybugs

Certain ways you can control these flower garden pests are:

Make sure to avoid overwatering and over-fertilizing your plants as mealybugs are attracted new growth and plants with high levels of nitrogen.

Furthermore, you can dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and touch it to the pest to desiccate and kill them instantly.

You can also spray the pests away with water or use insecticidal soap and neem oil as repellants.

These products do not harm honeybees and other beneficial insects.

Encourage the growth of beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings which are predators of mealybugs.

Learn more about Ultrasonic Pest Repellers here.

5# Plant Bugs

Plant bugs are the term that includes a number of true bugs, members of the Hemiptera order of insects.

Moreover, the most common ones are cinch bugs, harlequin bugs, and squash bugs.

Just like leafhoppers, plant bugs inject a toxin into the leaves, buds, and shoots of your plants.

As a result, your plant will mottle with brown or black spots and deformed growth.

Dahlias, azaleas, daisies, Liatris, and asters are some of the common plants, these bugs feast upon.

plant bugs

Thus, you should be on the lookout for tarnished plant bugs and 4-lined plant bugs, growing up to a 1/4 inch long.

It is important to note that plant bugs often have an unpleasant odor.

You can take the following step to remove and prevent them:

Plant bugs are fast-moving pests, however, you can pluck them off and drop them into a bucket of soapy water if you are an early rise.

This is because plant bugs are sluggish in the morning.

Spraying the young ones with neem oil or insecticidal soap will help and offer some control over most plant bugs.

Protecting edible crops with floating row covers will prevent these bugs from damaging your vegetables.

Learn more about Poisonous Plants here.

6# Scale

When you first see them on your plants, you might think that they are not alive.

The waxy covering that serves as a protective shield on these bugs makes them resemble lichen or other natural growths in their host plants.

Moreover, the scale insect under this waxy covering is very much alive and feeds on your plants throughout the entire growing season.

Furthermore, scale insects are also found on your houseplants throughout the year.

The damage these flower garden pests cause appears as stunted growth, leaf drop, yellow spots on leaves, a sooty mold that thrives on the honeydew of scales.

Parasitic wasps live to use scale insects as hots and you may see the evidence of this as time holes in their armor.

This same armor makes them resistant to many pesticides, however, formant oil can suffocate them during the winters.

scale insect

In order to control them you can:

Dispose of the affected branches and leaves which contain the scale insects.

Pick off the insect by hand, which is a viable solution if the numbers are low.

You can also dab individual insects with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol.

Encourage beneficially incests like ladybugs and lacewings that feed on them.

Using insecticidal soaps or oil apply neem oil to the affected plant, it can help to effectively control it.

On the other hand, if you need chemicals, then use the ones containing acephate or imidacloprid are effective pesticides.

Learn more about Biodegradable Waste here.

7# Whiteflies

When you disturb these flower garden pests, whiteflies flutter on their host like an ephemeral cloud, however, their damage is formidable.

Moreover, this one is another honeydew injecting pest that not only encourages sooty mold but at the same time leaves the plants yellow and stunted after sucking on plant juices.

Some whiteflies also carry plant viruses and are the bane of greenhouse growers who can detect their presence with yellow sticky traps.

whiteflies

You can control them by:

Take advantage of their small size and weakness by using a vacuum to remove them.

Yellow sticky traps can be used to trap adult whiteflies.

You can also encourage natural predators like ladybugs and lacewings.

Furthermore, you can also use neem oil and other horticulture oil to kill them.

On the other hand, if you need chemical pesticides, use natural insecticides that contain pyrethrin.

Learn more about Root Knots in Plants here.

8# Cabbage Maggot

Cabbage maggots stick to the crops, especially the Chinese cabbages.

These maggots tunnel in roots, thus killing the plants directly or by creating entryways for disease organisms.

If you are not sure about their presence, then check the leaves of your plants as they will start to wilt, and you can also check the plants for these pests.

Moreover, the easiest way to tell if your plants have cabbage root maggots is after your harvest your crops and see damage to the roots of your crops.

cabbage maggots

To control them, you can follow these methods:

Apply floating row covers on these flower garden pests, set out transplants through slits in tar-paper squares, and avoid first-generation by delaying planting.

Moreover, you can apply parasitic nematodes around the roots, burn the roots from harvested plants, and mound wood ashes or red paper dust.

Learn more about Infestations for Spiral Aloe here.

9# Catterpillars

These are soft, segmented larvae with a distinct, harder head capsule with 6 legs in the front.

Moreover, they have fleshy false legs on the rear segment of the body.

Most often, you can see them on different fruits and vegetables, ornamental and shade trees.

caterpillars

Caterpillar chews on leaves or along margins, while some of the tunnels into the fruits.

In order to deter them you can:

Encourage native predators and parasites, handpick your harvest, or apply floating row covers.

Learn more about Fertilizer After Overseeding here.

Final Thoughts

Flower garden pests and diseases like powdery mildew, aphids, etc can be irritating especially when they cause extensive damage to the flowering plants.

With the help of preventive steps and measures, you can reduce their appearance and even kill them. However, while using synthetic pesticides, understand that they can kill beneficial pests on your flowering plants.

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