4 Garden Pests You Don't Want Eating Your Flowers
While all species have their place under the Sun, garden pests are a nuisance you don’t want to see in you garden. They destroy the buds of your favorite flowers, eat holes in leaves, cause willing, and retard growth. Below are some of the garden pests you definitely don’t want eating your flowers.
1. Caterpillars: Harmful to Flowers and Human Health
Caterpillars are usually spotted at night, with the help of a flashlight. These insects leave irregular or round holes in the buds and leaves of roses and other flowers, even chewing entire buds and leaves. Furthermore, the caterpillar hairs cause health problems in humans. Sometimes containing venom, the hairs can inflict serious injuries, including renal failure, atopic asthma, urticarial dermatitis, and intracerebral hemorrhage, among others. Although skin rashes are most often observed, fatalities have been reported.
2. Japanese Beetles
Common to the East Coast of the United States, Japanese Beetles eat the foliage of a variety of ornamental plants, with roses being their favorite. This insect skeletonizes plants’ leaves, eating everything except for the veins and midrib. You don’t want this insect in your garden as the list of host plants is particularly long: Morning Glory (Ipomoea), Humulus, Zinnia, Wisteria, roses, Alcea, Aster, and others. While the population of Japanese Beetles is controlled by natural enemies in Japan, it is a serious threat to plants common for America. In fact, the insect is a pest of about 200 plant species. Identifying Japanese Beetles is not difficult due to their shiny, green copper-colored wings.
3. Spider Mites: Miniature and Harmful
Spider mites are another serious pest you don’t want eating your flowers. This arachnid pierces cells on the leaves’ underside and sucks out fluids. Its favorite food is new foliage, but the mites can cover the entire surface of the plant and kill it. Dry and hot weather is the most favorable time for infestations. Moreover, a single female lays up to twenty eggs a day, living between 2 and 4 weeks. A mature female can spawn a mite population of up to a million over her life span. The quick reproductive rate of spider mites allows them to adapt at a fast pace and resist pesticides. For this reason, methods of chemical control become ineffective if the same pesticide is used for a long period of time.
4. Thrips Do Damage to Roses
Thrips are miniature insects that feed on plant juices and are particularly damaging to roses. Severe infestations with thrips cause failure to open and deforms buds. Because they hide inside flowers and buds, thrips are not easy to treat using classical biological control. Predators need to be slender and small enough to penetrate inside the crevices where thrips hide to feed. Moreover, their predators mostly pray on larvae and eggs.
You might need to destroy infested buds and flowers. Bio-control agents of larvae and adults include Phytoseiid mites, anthocorid bugs, and aphid wasps.