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Plant Pests

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Insects can be a major problem for home gardeners and big green house operators alike. This has left no shortage of products available to combat insect invaders but it’s a buyer beware market. Many products don’t work at all and some will do more harm than good if used improperly.

You should try to avoid chemicals where and when possible, especially indoors. Try to always use a manual method of control or try a natural recipe as an alternative to any chemical remedy.

As always knowledge is the best defense so thoroughly research the type of insect you have and be sure you are using the appropriate remedy for it.

The alphabetical list below is of the most common insect pests a home gardener is likely to encounter. Each insect has information regarding its species, the damage it does and most importantly how to help control and prevent it.

Pea AphidsAphids

Aphids are small, pear shaped insects ranging in size from 1 mm to 10 mm long. They have long antennae and soft, translucent bodies which are usually green, yellow, white or reddish brown in color.

Fungus GnatsFungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are small, black flies which more closely resemble a mosquito than a fly. The flying adults are harmless to the plant but are a major nuisance to plant owners and greenhouse operators.

Mealy BugsMealy Bugs

Destructive and difficult to control because of this insects natural defenses. Learn more about the mealybug here.

Red ScaleScale

An armored insect which sucks the sap from plant parts. Its armor makes it difficult to spot and control can be difficult if noticed late.

Spider MitesSpider Mites

Spider mites are very small, less than 1 mm and range in color and markings depending on the species. They use sucking mouth parts to puncture and drain cell structures in many types of plants.

SpringtailsSpringtails

Mostly harmless but can become a major pain for indoor gardeners if their population explodes. Control is fairly easy for springtails luckily.

ThripsThrips

These tiny flies are very destructive and difficult to control. Their small size makes it tough to notice them until they begin to cause leaf damage. Learn more here.

WhitefliesWhiteflies

Whiteflies are small moth like insects with yellowish bodies and white, waxy wings. The average size of a whitefly is 1.5 mm to 3 mm and varies with species as do wing patterns.