Identifying Garden Pests

Identifying Garden Pests

Each garden pest leaves telltale clues. Did the pest eat flowers off the plant high up on the stem? Did a nocturnal visitor chew holes through the leaves, or only the edges of the leaf? Do you see shiny silvery streaks or snail shells around the garden?

Each sign points to a different garden pest, so you need to know how to identify them in order to get rid of them.


Aphids attack the leaves and stems of many vegetable plants. Ladybugs are natural predators, and they keep aphids in check.


Grasshoppers chew the leaves of vegetables and plants, and they can decimate a garden overnight. Birds eat grasshoppers, so attracting birds keeps them in check.

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are the scourge of many gardens. Identify them by their green and golden brown bodies and holes chewed in the middle of leaves. They attack roses, hollyhocks, morning glories, and many other flowers and vegetables. The surest way to get rid of these beetles is to pick them off by hand and drown them in a bowl of soapy water.


Nothing makes a gardener shudder quite like a slug. Slugs leave slimy, silver trails and eat many plants, including hostas. Get rid of the slugs by filling a bowl with beer and burying it up to the rim in the ground. The slugs will be attracted to the beer, and they'll drown in it.


Snails love to chew the leaves of plants. Look for snail shells around the garden, indicating the presence of these pests. To get rid of them, sprinkle diatomaceous earth liberally around the ground and plants.

Tomato Hornworms

The tomato hornworm eats tomato plant leaves, and it can strip a plant bare within hours. Planting marigolds around tomatoes repels tomato hornworms naturally.


Rabbits are cute, but they can easily eat their way through a vegetable garden overnight. You'll see leaves chewed away at the edges and probably the rabbit himself if you watch long enough. Use a sturdy fence or an organic spray that makes flowers taste bad to keep rabbits at bay.


Deer eat shrubs, trees, flowers and vegetables. Repel them with a strong fence, or plant deer-resistant shrubs.


Groundhogs look cute and cuddly, but they love to eat fruits, vegetables and other plants just as much as rabbits do. Installing a stout fence is one way to try to keep them from harming your plants. However, groundhogs are diggers, so you might have to live trap them and move them to another location to save your garden.

Now you know how to identify a variety of garden pests. Keep your plants even healthier by learning how to identify different plant diseases.

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Identifying Garden Pests