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Identifying 3 Common Garden Pests

October 20th, 2011 Gardening

Realizing that your garden has a pest problem is one of the worst feelings for gardeners who take good care of their plants. Even if you can't see the culprits, there are plenty of signs to help you figure out which type of bug is causing the problem. Here are a few of the most common garden pests and how to control them, according to Gardeners.com.

Aphids These little green insects cluster on the undersides of foliage to suck away your plants' juices. While a few of them won't do any harm, an infestation can lead to distorted plant growth and yellowed, decaying leaves. Aphids secrete a sweet fluid when they feed that attracts ants and can cause leaves to become covered in sooty black fungus. Use strong sprays of water to get rid of these insects, and consider attracting beneficial bugs like ladybugs or lacewings to devour the offenders.

Cutworms The moth larvae called cutworms cut off seedling plant stems and feed on all parts of your garden. They curl up in a C-shape below the surface of the soil during the day and feed at night. You can find and destroy them easily by digging them up in the morning, baiting them and tilling the soil regularly in the fall to kill eggs and larvae.

Slugs Large, irregular holes in the leaves of your plants and shiny slime trails are signs that slugs are wreaking havoc in your garden. They eat almost anything - especially new, tender growth, salad greens and even tomato fruits. They're most active at night and in cool, damp weather. You can control slugs by watering in the morning so your plants are dry by night and by baiting them with shallow dishes of beer.