The Pest Test

You’ve spotted the telltale damage in your landscape, and it’s time to figure out who the culprit that’s been destroying your garden might be. Choose the best descriptions of the damage in your backyard to figure out what your pest is—and what solutions you might need!

START
What’s your number 1 complaint?
When did this damage show up?
How are your trees faring?
How about your lawn?
Any telltale signs that your pests left behind?
Where is most of the damage?

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You might be dealing with a rodent issue!

Pesky, small rodents can get into the thatch in your sod and create holes and burrows that disrupt your landscaping. You can start dealing with them by raking your lawn to get rid of some of the built-up thatch and making sure that all of your garbage is disposed of properly. If you choose to use traps or poisons to deal with your pests, be careful around kids and pets that could get harmed.

You might have aphids.
These pests feast on the juices of your plants and can cause damage quickly when their numbers grow. While you can sometimes deal with them with a spray of cool water, sometimes you need to step up your defenses. Consider introducing their natural predators, ladybugs, or using insecticidal soap to wash them away safely.
You might have a rabbit or deer problem.

These bigger pests love to feast on your youngest and tenderest of plants, making them a headache when you’re trying to get your garden planted and growing. Start to defend your landscape against these pests by making it less inviting. While noisemakers and lights don’t work well, getting rid of hiding spots and shelter can help to discourage them. Consider using physical barriers, like fences or hedges, to keep them away from the most tempting plants before you resort to applying repellants.

You could have snails or slugs.
These pests leave telltale trails of slime behind them as they move around your garden munching on plants. There are lots of ways that you can try to kill off your snails and slugs, like making beer traps, leaving out grapefruit, or using repellants.
You might have spider mites.
These tiny pests are so small that it can be surprising when they cause damage to our gardens. Look out for these itty bitty, red spider-like creatures on the underside of leaves. Lots of solutions are available to handle these pests, from mild insecticidal soaps to more extreme chemicals.
You might have any number of insect pests, like grasshoppers, Japanese Beetles, or caterpillars.
Grasshoppers might be nibbling holes clean through the middle of your leaves. Caterpillars tend to munch around the edges. Japanese Beetles nibble around all the veins of the leaves to leave behind a “skeleton” leaf. For creepy crawlies, like grasshoppers and caterpillars, that are native to our area, there are tons of options to help get rid of them, from attracting natural predators, like birds, to a variety of chemical solutions. Japanese Beetles aren’t from around here, though, and can be way tougher to treat. You might have to pick them off by hand or use harsh chemicals to effectively treat them.