All bugs hatch from eggs, which usually live on the undersides of leaves or in hidden spots on plants. The eggs hatch into larvae (also called caterpillars, grubs, or maggots), which will later become adults. Adult bugs lay eggs and usually have wings.
Bad bugs can eat plants or cause damage at different stages in their lives, so it is important that you get rid of bad bugs when they are causing the most damage. Most of the time, this will be when they are in their larval stage; hungry and growing fast! Many bad bugs in your garden will come in cycles, seasonally.
Common Bad Boys (and girls) in the Garden:
They suck the juices from the leaves of many different plants. When done sucking the juices from the leaves, the leaves curl up or fall off the plant. Sometimes they also spread plant diseases. Aphids are a primary producer of honeydew, an important food source for ants and other insects. These hungry plant suckers, come in all colors, even one that is covered with white furry filaments (Woolly aphid). It’s said that almost every plant has an aphid to call its own. Aphid infestations can, at their worst, kill plantings (suck the life out of them) and spread diseases that can also kill them.
Here are a few things you can do to get rid of aphids.
- A strong jet of water will wash many of the aphids off the plant.
- Release purchased natural enemies, especially green lacewings or lady beetles.
Whitefly and The Giant Whitefly
Tiny sap sucking insects that are abundant on vegetable and ornamental plantings, especially in warm weather. They are not true flies but are related to aphids, scales and mealybugs. They derive their name from the white waxy covering on the adult’s wings and body. Adults have yellowish bodies and four whitish wings. Many species are most readily distinguished in the last nymphal (immature) stage, which is wingless and lacks visible legs. Depending on species, whitefly nymphs vary in color from almost transparent yellow or whitish to black with a white fringe. The Giant Whitefly arrived in San Diego in 1992 and is now wide spread in Southern California and sporadically in other areas. This species, Aleurodicus dugesii, infests many hosts especially tropical plants such as hibiscus and bird of paradise but will also infest citrus, mulberry and a host of other ornamental plants. They can also be instrumental in the spreading of plant diseases.
Getting rid of whitefly infestations is a difficult task. Here are some suggestions:
- Prune infested branches and leaves.
- Give your plants a bath. Spray them with water, this knocks off a lot of the whitefly (which, by the way, cannot climb back up onto the plants) and removes honeydew that attracts other insects.
- Cut areas of tall grass and remove leaf litter from under trees and plants.
- Keep your plants healthy. Healthy plants naturally repel insects whereas sickly or stressed ones will attract them.
Primarily pests of woody plants. They appear as tiny blistesr or shell-like bumps on leaf backs and stems. Their feeding activity results in poor plant growth. Other symptoms are sticky excretions and sooty mold on evergreens.
Suck the life out of plants. They leave brown or white marks on leaves or fruit. Some people think these marks look like scars. Adults are thin and tiny bugs, that are usually so small and dark that many people never see them. They only see the damage they cause, which includes black fecal spots and scaring on leaves. Leaves will appear silvery and distorted (curled). Heavy infestations can retard growth, and lead to defoliation and plant death.
Suck juices from the stems and undersides of leaves. Their spit is poisonous and makes the tips of leaves turn brown or yellow and curl up. As they suck juices, they also spread plant diseases.
Eat tunnels in leaves. The damage does not kill the plants, but the leaves and fruit look less appealing to eat, especially if you are selling them or giving them away to friends! The larvae do most of the damage. Leafminers are light green maggots that live in (and eat!) leaves. We make curvy, winding tunnels in leaves henceforth their name.
At night they chew through the stems of plants close to the soil, which makes the plants fall over. Usually the stems look like someone cut them with a knife.
These bad boys eat leaves of plants and make webs that look like spider webs! After they weave the web, the web is attached to leaves or stems, then they live inside of it.
Eat large holes in the leaves of big plants, and both the leaves and stems of seedlings. Eggs look like little piles of white jelly balls, and usually are found under rocks or logs where the adults live. Adults look like snails without the shell, and are gray, black, brown, or green. Slugs leave slimy silver trails wherever they go! Yuck!
These are just of few of the garden bugs that made the “Bad Bug” list. If you are trying to get rid of bad bugs and have come to the conclusion that they have taken over your yard and are ruining your landscape, there is help to be had. Follow this link to get the help you need: https://www.corkyspest.com/