Indoor Garden Pests Identification

Pests are every gardener’s nightmare. No one wants to wake up one day and find out that the very garden that he planted with his bare hands is at the extent of destruction.

Therefore, avoiding a pest infestation has always been a gardener’s top most priority. It is rightly said that prevention is better than cure. To make sure that the garden or plantation does not become infected with pests, it is very necessary that the gardener knows how to identify various pests so that he can eliminate them from the start rather than trying to get rid of them when they have completely settled in.

Indoor Garden Pests Identification

In the following article, we will take a look at the common garden pests and some tips and tricks on distinguishing them from one another.

Aphids

Aphids

Where to find them?

Aphids if infecting a plant, are most likely to be found on its tender tips and undersides.

How to identify them?

Aphids are tiny insects, so for proper identification, a magnifier will come in handy. As aphids can either be black, brown, green or a combination of the former, their color cannot be used as a distinguishing feature. They are the only insects with “cornicles” on them. Cornicles are a pair of tiny exhaust pipes located on an Aphid’s posterior.

Why are they dangerous?

Aphids feed on plant juices causing the plants enough damage for them to appear wilted. Aphids do not come alone; they come with a lot of plant diseases with them. Moreover, they produce a sooty mold which can cause fatal damage to the plants.  They also have an amazing ability to reproduce as it takes only a week for an Aphid to reach adulthood.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus Gnats

Where to find them?

Fungus gnats usually like to stay close to plant pots and do not move around very much. Small larvae, leave slime trails if the conditions are moist. These trails are identical to those left by small snails.

How to identify them?

Fungus gnats have some similarity with houseflies but these can be identified by the color of their wings which varies from light gray to clear while their bodies are dark. They also have antennae longer than their heads and slender legs. Another distinguishing characteristic is the rather prominent, Y-shaped vein in the wings if fungus gnats.

Why are they dangerous?

Fungus gnats are dangerous because the larvae, when in large number cause great damage to the roots sometimes even resulting in plant death. Their presence is also an annoyance which no gardener wishes to have in his garden.

Mealy bugs

Mealy bugs

Where to find them?

Mealy bugs prefer to prey on fruit bearing plants and ornamentals. They usually form clustered colonies which are white in appearance, inhabiting among leaves and fruit.

How to identify them?

Mealy bugs are small insects, generally 0.12 to 0.5 cm long with segmented bodies. They are wingless, have soft bodies and appear light grayish in color. They also sometimes, have wax filaments radiating from their tails. The bodies of these worms are covered in a wax-like excretion appearing as cottony wax.

Why are they dangerous?

Mealy bugs feed on stems and leaves of plants causing stem damage and premature fruit dropping. They from colonies that form a wax layer upon the fruit, degrading its quality.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese Beetles

Where to find them?

Japanese beetles can be found on the leaves of the plants although, they move on around the garden.

How to identify them?

Japanese beetles have distinct, shiny, emerald green to black bodies and a grooved green top. The green top is their distinguishing feature. Another distinguishing feature are the hair that appear to be sticking out of its abdomen.

Why are they dangerous?

Whether as a larva or in the form of an adult, the Japanese beetle has the complete ability to cause havoc in a garden. The larva eat grass roots causing damage to their growth. The adult Japanese beetle on the other hand damages plants by eating off leaves.

Spider Mites

Spider Mites

Where to find them?

Spider mites can be found on the undersides of leaves. With them, is a network of webbing and random scattering of eggs all over the underside of the infected leaf.

How to identify them?

The most common species of the spider mites is the “two spot” spider mite. It is greenish-yellow to tan in color with two spots on the spider mite’s body, one on each shoulder. The spots grow large with age and can be used to identify the age of a spider mite. Although, the spots can grow considerable large on a comparatively young spider mite too owing the large amount of chlorophyll in the leaves that it’s feeding on.

Why are they dangerous?

Spider mites have the ability to spread in by means of fine webbing, laying eggs under the leaf surface all around the garden. When lesser in number, this causes the leaves to have little yellow speckles. But as the webbing grows finer and larger, the leaves start to turn brown and die.

Whiteflies

Whiteflies

Where to find them?

Whiteflies can be found anywhere in the garden however, they prefer clustering up and can be found on the undersides of leaves.

How to identify them?

White flies have two stages of growing up; a nymph stage and an adult stage. White flies in their nymph stage are particularly difficult to identify owing to their tiny appearance and a flattened, oval body. The nymph stage does not have any legs and no distinction can be made among the insect’s head, thorax or abdomen. In the adult stage, however, whiteflies appear as fly-like insects with small bodies and white color.

Why are they dangerous?

White flies suck plant juices and feed on them weakening the plants. A female white fly can lay up to 400 eggs at a time which take from a week to a month to hatch. The infestation, if becomes large scale, results in yellowing of leaves and wilting of the plants. Whiteflies produce honeydew which can provide

Written by Ali

Ali Qayyum is a professional Web Designer and Web Developer. In my spare time, i do gardening and love nature. Its my hobby to share my experience.

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