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Plant Eating Pests And Control

Garden Pest Control | April 17, 2018

Plant Eating Pests And Control

One very large pest problem in Texas comes from a relatively small pest – Grasshoppers. In small groups they do not cause much damage, but during the mid-summer, their populations increase dramatically. So much so, that it is very difficult to grow a garden or flowers.

Grasshoppers As Pests

Grasshoppers are pests. Simply drive down the freeway during the summer and you begin to see firsthand how many grasshoppers show up in Texas in the summer. For those who live around the Great Austin area, grasshoppers are a big problem as they eat crops, gardens, and flowers.

Grasshopper control is tricky because these pests do not stick to one type of plant. Instead, they move from plant to plant and across vast territories. It would take a lot of contact pesticides to control them. If grasshoppers plague your yard, farm, or garden, we can help. We have the tools to effectively control grasshoppers.

Moths & Butterflies

One of the most destructive forces to crops and gardens is caterpillars from moths and some butterflies, such as the Cabbage White. In the larval form, a single caterpillar can destroy an entire plant in the morning. Some moths and butterflies are very host specific, such as the Monarch butterfly. What this means is that they lay eggs on and consume very specific plants. In the case of the Monarch, they only eat milkweed. Unless you are growing milkweed as a commercial crop, the damaged caused is not significant. On the other hand, the Cabbage White butterfly tends to target plants in the brassica family – cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. The damage that the larva of these butterfly’s cause is significant to farmers and home gardeners.

Stink Bugs

Unlike grasshoppers or butterfly/moth larva, stink bugs do not chew up the leaves of plants. Instead, they suck out the plant’s juices and cause the plant to become susceptible to plant disease. That damage also makes fruit and vegetables look less appealing to consumers – even in a home garden. Stink bugs are a very large group of insects. They too can be difficult to control in crops that are edible. There are organic means and non-organic means to control stink bugs.

Beetles

Beetles are the largest order of insects on earth and as such there are some 800,000-different species. Beetles are characterized by chewing mouth and often have ornate mandibles that the use to consumer plants, bore into trees, and even as a defense. Large beetles can break the skin if they latch on to you. In terms of the damage these insects cause, it can significant. Beetles are almost always crop specific. A wood boring beetle, such as those that cause sudden pine death, generally only attack a specific type of plant or a family of plants. Fruit beetles, which are often metallic green and kind of large, only eat rotting fruit as adults. As larvae, they consume soil and can be equally beneficial so long as the infestation is not too large.

The big question for home gardeners and commercial farmers, is what’s eating your plants? In this blog, we have given you four examples of plant eating insects. To learn more about the pests that bug you, reach out to our professionals. We can help you properly identify pests and then provide you with options for controlling them safely.

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