If you’ve been a frequent reader of our blog, then you already know how passionate we are about topic pertaining to gardening and landscaping – including ways of keeping plants healthy and beautiful. Yet, it’s not surprising that Northern hemisphere gardening has its own unique set of challenges, including plant-destroying bugs. While we are lucky enough to avoid many of the year-round pests that attack other regions of the nation, we are certainly not immune to them.
Here are some of the harmful bugs that may find their way into your gardening adventures this year. (The good news is you can prevent them!) Watch out for these plant munching pests.
Japanese Beetles - Still making their presence known in the United States and Canada, the common Japanese beetle can wreak havoc on your garden if you don’t knock them out fast. Easily distinguishable by their well-known iridescent greenish-gold appearance, you may start to notice these pests early in the growing season. They love to eat roses, raspberries, geraniums, and many other varieties of flowering plants. To treat for them without harming your plants, spritz a solution of 1 teaspoon dish detergent in water onto plants each day, and squash any bugs or larva you see hanging out. The good news is that Japanese Beetles have a relatively short lifespan of only about 6-8 weeks.
Emerald Ash Borer - The stately ash tree is something to treasure in the North, yet an insidious pest often comes to visit. The Emerald Ash Borer is one such pest you want to watch out for. Native to Asia, the larvae Emerald Ash Borer does one thing very well – boring holes into the bark of ash trees and destroying them from the inside out. Noted for its dark-metallic emerald green color, this bullet shaped beetle can grow to .33 inches long and has a flat head with black eyes. Annual soil treatments that include the components Imidicloprid or Dinotefuran can effective reduce their presence.
Cutworms - A devastating pest that you don’t want to get on your plants or trees is that of the cutworm. While there are many varieties, the one that is most prevalent is the variegated cutworm, identified by its brown and yellowish variegated coloration with diamond shaped spots on the top of its body. Cutworms chew on every piece of foliage they can find, cutting them down from the root upward. To get rid of them, keep soil well-cultivated and make it harder for larvae to get to your delicate plants by adding use coffee grounds around each planting.
Tent Caterpillars - A common pest found in the Northern territories, tent caterpillars are famous for their huge tent-like nests found in the branches of trees. The caterpillar itself has either a blue or black body with white or yellow stripes down the back. They are voracious, defoliating trees in a matter of days. To help prevent them, wrap the base of each tree with plastic sheeting (garbage bags work well) 12 inches from the ground and then layer a thick strip of petroleum jelly. Remove all nests as soon as you notice them on your trees or buildings.
Preventing pests are part of gardening and landscape management, but they do not have to get the best of you. Keeping a close eye on your plants, trees, and property can help you to maintain a healthy and beautiful garden in the North.
About the Author: Stephanie writes about landscaping and exterior design. She reviews landscaping sites, click here for more information. When she’s not working she catches butterflies with her 2 daughters.