The arrival of summer can be a real challenge for our garden. The heat and lack of water dry our plants and yellow the grass. But also, with high temperatures, insect and fungus pests proliferate. If we are not careful, they can end up ruining all the effort we have invested in our garden during the rest of the year.
In this article we are telling you which are the most common pests that affect the garden and grass, and how you can fight them.
7 summer pests that thrive in the garden during the summer
These annoying creatures are among the first to be seen when temperatures rise. Although small (about 3 mm), they appear in large colonies, so their voracity can easily kill our plants.
Aphids feed on the sap they get from the stem and leaves, causing the plants to weaken. But also, the sweet substance they secrete (honeydew) is a breeding ground for fungi and diseases.
How to eliminate aphids: pplying an insecticide will allow you to end this pest. If you use use a broad-spectrum one you will also eliminate other insects and fungi that have proliferated attracted by aphid honeydew.
In case you prefer natural remedies, you can place a pair of ladybugs, the natural predators of aphids, on the affected plants.
Unless they enter home and invade our pantry, ants do not seem to be a real nuisance. However, most gardening professionals try to eliminate them as soon as they appear in the garden. And there is a reason for that.
The presence of an anthill under our garden can cause some areas of the lawn to turn yellow. The networks of tunnels that make up their nests interfere with the roots and hinder the absorption of nutrients.
But the most important thing is that ants and aphids have a symbiotic relationship: the honeydew secreted by aphids serves as food for ants, and these in turn protect them from natural predators such as ladybugs. The presence of one of these two pests usually brings the appearance of the other.
How to eliminate ants: There are many home remedies, such as pouring boiling water directly on the nest. However, these methods do not ensure the complete elimination of the colony, so it is possible that they reappear in a short time. Instead, you can use use an ant bait, which guarantees the elimination of the entire nest: the bait attracts the ants, who eat it and return with it to the anthill. Once inside, the ant dies, and the poison that contains the bait is released throughout the nest, eliminating the rest of the colony.
Although not as voracious as the aphid, the presence of cochineals is also a risk for our plants. They feed on the leaves of pots and grass alike, leaving them holes and causing the plant to weaken and die.
How to eliminate cochineal: To deal with this pest, we have at our disposal various insecticides specific for cochineals. They work by ingestion, and their effects are visible in the first 24 hours. Although it is especially aimed at cochineals, they are also useful for fighting other insects such as aphids. Its application does not damage the leaves or flowers.
Natural enemy of grass and almost any plant in our garden. The rounded spots on the leaves of our plants will be a sign that they are being attacked by some kind of fungus.
In summer, powdery mildew is one of the fungi that most affect plants, especially curcubitceae (zucchini, cucumbers, melons, watermelons), so we must take special care if we are gardening these species. However, floral plants can also be affected by powdery mildew. It manifests itself in the form of small whitish spots that appear on the leaf.
The grass is very prone to the appearance of fungi. Depending on the species we have planted, it may be affected by the Fusarium (Fusarium ssp.), the Phytium (Pythium sp.), the Lawn Rust (Puccinia sp.) or the Dollar spot (Sclerotonia homeocarpa). They can affect root as well as the stem and the leaf. The most common symptom is the appearance of yellowish spots even when we are watering it correctly.
Fungi thrives in moisture, so to prevent their appearance we must avoid flooding the soil when watering.
How to eliminate fungi:
Snails and slugs
Snails and slugs proliferate in warm weather. They feed on the leaves of plants and their flowers, so their presence can quickly ruin all the effort we have dedicated to create a colorful and eye-catching garden.
How to eliminate snails and slugs: To prevent these mollusks from attacking our plants, we can surround them with sawdust or sand. However, once they have become a pest, it is best to apply specific products in order to eliminate them.
Whitefly reproduces by laying its eggs on the underside of the leaves. When hatching and developing the larvae, we will have a myriad of small insects attached to our plants, feeding on their sap and weakening it.
But the main danger of the whitefly, as with the aphid, is the honeydew they secrete. This sweet substance attracts ants, and is also a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria.
Whitefly is attracted to moisture, so its presence is often a sign that watering too much our plants.
How to eliminate whitefly: With a common insecticide we will easily end this pest.
Worms and caterpillars
Between spring and summer the eggs of numerous types of insects hatch. Their larvae can be dangerous to our garden. This happens, for example, with the African cotton leafworm, a type of worm that feeds on the stems and leaves of the lawn.
We must not confuse the effect of worms with that of earthworms, whose presence is beneficial to the grass: they aerate the earth with their tunnels, and their debris serves as fertilizer. However, an excess of earthworms will attract birds and moles that will damage our garden.
How to eliminate worms: As with the whitefly, any plant-friendly insecticide will be enough to eliminate this pest. We can choose one or the other depending on whether they have affected plants or grass.
If you have a problem with any pest in your garden, in Viveros González we can help you to deal with it.