5 Worst Gardening Pests and How to Deal With Them

You take pride in your garden. All the labor, love and thought that went into your outdoor oasis are a result of your commitment to gardening. That’s why it can be extra frustrating when pests come to destroy your efforts. When these natural nuisances make snacks out of your crops, it feels like you have to start all over. Garden pests include both insects and animals, and keeping them away (or getting rid of them) varies according to each pest.

Gardening pests

Whether it’s a deer chomping your plants to nubs or aphids bringing disease to your plot, there’s no doubt that there are plenty of pesky pests to be on guard against. However, we think there are five garden pests that take the cake for being the worst for your garden’s health. Learn more about these pests and how you can save your plants from them.

1. Rabbits

Gardening pests

Although they are cute from afar, rabbits are known to wreak havoc on gardeners’ greens. To keep bunnies from eating all of your plants, there are some natural remedies you can try. Besides adding a fence, one of these is to sprinkle unwashed human hair around the plants you want to protect. It works as a natural mulch, adds nutrients to the soil, and rabbits dislike the smell of it. You can also hang cheesecloth bags filled with hair onto tree branches or posts near the garden. Try asking a local barber for bags of hair if you need more when the hair scent fades away in a few weeks.

2. Slugs

Gardening pests

Ugh, slugs. A lot of gardeners loathe these slimy bugs because they gnaw on leaves, fruits, and veggies. Luckily, though, there are a lot of different approaches you can take to keeping the slugs away from your garden. First, you can choose to plant specific varieties that slugs don’t like. This way, you keep them from entering your garden in the first place. You can also try a few natural remedies—one involves beer and another uses eggshells. Get all our tips on deterring slugs from your garden here.

3. Deer

Gardening pests

Like rabbits, deer can be sweet to see from a distance, but when it comes to the efforts of your green thumb, Bambi is not your friend. Without a fence, it can seem tough to keep deer out of the garden. However, you can employ a few tactics to keep these tick-bearing animals from chomping on the fruits of your labor. You can add deer-resistant plants to your garden; Geranium Rozanne is one of them! Other tricks for keeping deer out of the garden include putting coffee grounds on the soil and placing other smells deer dislike around the perimeter.

4. Aphids

Gardening pestsEvery gardener has a personal vendetta against aphids. These insects suck the nutrients out of the plants, causing stunted growth and deformation. But their worst offense is their ability to bring outside diseases to your beautiful blooms. These little insects are often to blame for the growth of black sooty mold fungus. Keep the aphids away by inviting ladybugs to play in the garden, and plant aphid-deterrent plants. You can blast heavy infestations with insect soap and water.

5. Plant Bugs

Gardening pestsThese infamous dark brown bugs include a number of members of the Hemiptera order of insects. Cinch bugs, harlequin bugs, and squash bugs are the most common offenders in the garden, injecting toxins into flowering plants such as dahlias, azaleas, daisies, liatris, and asters. The result is brown or black spots and deformation. If you can catch these bugs (they’re slower in the morning), you can throw them into a bucket of soapy water. To protect edibles, use a row cover.

Pests—no matter how big or small—are never fun guests in the garden. Hopefully you can keep your hard work from being destroyed with these pest prevention and handling tips. For more valuable info on making the most of your garden, be sure to join Rozanne’s Inner Circle.