Autumn is just around the corner. and it can be one of the most enjoyable times to get in the garden. Temperatures gradually decrease and days are getting shorter.
Autumn is a great time for getting some garden tasks done like pruning, fertilising, and planting fast-growing plants. But this season is also the time of the year when pests become troublesome. Beneficial insects are abundant but there are also autumn pests that can wreak havoc and destroy the aesthetics of your yard.
There are many aphid species and around 250 of them are pests. These pests are identifiable with their pear-shaped bodies with long antennae. They can be white, green, yellow, brown, black, or even pink.
They can destroy your ornamental plants.
How to Identify an Aphid Infestation
You’ll know there’s an aphid infestation when you see the following signs:
- Look for curled leaves, unusual leaf drop, or stunted growth
- Look for “honeydew” on the leaves and stems. Aphids produce this sugary liquid as they munch on your plants.
- You see black spots on your plants. This is sooty mold that grows on the honeydew that aphids leave behind.
How to Get Rid of Aphids:
- Crush the aphids yourself or prune the affected area of the plant.
- Rinse the affected plant with cold water.
- Attract beneficial insects that devour aphids such as ladybugs and mantises.
Stray grasshoppers aren’t really considered but in excessive numbers, they can cause major damage to your landscape’s aesthetic. Grasshoppers normally feed on broadleaf plants.
How to Identify if You Have a Grasshopper Problem
- If you find some plants are losing leaves that appear to have been chewed off, you’re dealing with grasshoppers. In some cases, a caterpillar.
- While grasshoppers use camouflage, they are not that hard to spot. Just make sure to check for them thoroughly.
How to Get Rid of Grasshoppers
- Attract birds by providing water and nesting sites. Birds eat grasshoppers and other insects and are a great natural way of controlling pests.
- You can catch them by hand or by using a net.
- Leave mantises alone as they will help control the grasshopper population. Frogs will also eat grasshoppers.
Snails and Slugs
Snails and slugs will target plant leaves. They are nocturnal pests and thrive well in moist places.
How to Identify Snail and Slug Infestation
- Snails and slugs will leave a shiny trail on your plants
- Big holes on leaves
How to Get Rid of Snails and Slugs
- Regular cleaning to eliminate potential breeding sites.
- Beer attracts snails and slugs. You can use a beer-baited trap to attract and drown snails and slugs. Do not use salt as it can affect the salinity of the soil which can be bad for your plants.
- Build barriers to protect vulnerable plants.
- Pick them off by hand and destroy any eggs you find.
What other pests do you encounter in your yard during autumn?