For questions about controlling garden pests

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29
votes
9answers
10k views

How do you safely and effectively stop a cat from pooping in your yard?

Our neighbor's cat keeps pooping in our mulch and around our yard. Is there a safe and effective way to stop neighborhood pets from doing so? Has anyone used a method that works well?
22
votes
10answers
8k views

What is the best way to prevent animals from eating my garden without a fence?

We have a raised bed garden that does well for the most part. For aesthetic purposes, my wife will not let me put a fence around the garden. Most of the veggies and herbs do well and do not get ...
21
votes
2answers
19k views

How do I get rid of white flies on my basil?

I've recently noticed that my basil and other herb plants are infested by tiny white flies. They spread out like snow-flakes when I spray the plants with water, and there are scary looking number of ...
20
votes
10answers
1k views

What is the best organic way to defeat slugs?

Most of the seedlings I have planted out this year have been eaten by slugs within a day. I have my final two runner bean plants that need to go out. How can I prevent these from being the next ...
19
votes
2answers
775 views

What plants will keep ladybugs happy?

What plants/grasses can I plant to entice the ladybugs in my garden to stay? They are great for controlling aphids, but seem to move on pretty quickly.
17
votes
5answers
2k views

What plants will deter mosquitoes?

Does anyone have any plant recommendations that could deter mosquitoes? The location is North Texas, and I am looking for something that could be used on or around the deck. This might make the deck ...
16
votes
7answers
18k views

How to keep chipmunks out of my garden?

Forget rabbits, I have a fence around the garden, my real pest problem is chipmunks. I've got a fence, with some below ground barriers, to keep larger pests out and to keep them from digging but the ...
15
votes
7answers
6k views

How can I prevent squirrels (or other small mammals) from eating my tomatoes?

Something has been eating my tomatoes just as they begin to ripen. Each day I've been finding one or more tomatoes half-eaten but still attached to the vine. On a couple of days I've also found bits ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there any way to prevent vole lawn-destruction during snow-cover?

The open area behind our back fence is home to hundreds of voles. The hills look like this: During the summer, I can successfully restrict their intrusion into my yard by putting poison into the ...
13
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I get rid of gophers in a non-lethal way?

Gophers or ground squirrels are common pests in North America, that can destroy the fruits of your hard labour. They create extensive underground tunnels and are mostly active at night. A typical ...
13
votes
5answers
15k views

How to get rid of insects on basil while leaving the leaves safe to eat?

With reference to this question: Insect infestation on my pepper plant, what do I do? I have these insects in my indoor "kitchen window sill" basil and they do seem to be chewing it fast enough to ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I get rid of insects on fruit trees?

I have an infestation of aphids on my citrus and pomegranate trees. The bugs are being "farmed" by ants. I read they might actually be bringing the aphids to the trees. Is this at all a problem? Can ...
12
votes
4answers
7k views

What is eating my vegetable seedlings?

I recently grew some lettuce and carrots from seed, but within three nights they were completely eaten. I then used a seed growing tray and then transplanted about 40 out into the garden bed. But ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

How do I deal with millipedes eating my vegetable seedlings?

After cursing all the slugs in my yard and removing the few that I could catch, I was quite shocked yesterday to discover 100+ young plants all chewed to the ground. I was going out at 9 - 10pm to ...
11
votes
5answers
13k views

How can I get rid of rabbits in my yard?

I have rabbits that routinely build nests in my yard. How can I get rid of the rabbits legally? I don't want some officer from the DNR knocking on my door because I improperly hunted or poisoned them. ...
11
votes
3answers
397 views

What is the best way to grow vegetables without using chemical insecticide?

I am looking for tips and recommendations because I do not want to use any pesticides. I am in Jamaica where insects are a big problem. I am using a combination of dish soap and hot pepper. Any ...
11
votes
3answers
3k views

Insect infestation on my pepper plant, what do I do?

I have spotted that one - and only one - of my peppers plants has a number of small black flies of some type hanging around the soil. And while writing this I've just spotted that one (and only one!) ...
11
votes
2answers
249 views

What are some good companion veggies/flowers/herbs to scare off beetles?

I've had the biggest problems with Asian Stink Bugs (an invasive species that is terrorizing the Midatlantic USA region) and Asparagus Beetles. Oddly enough the asparagus beetles (right pic) are ...
11
votes
1answer
364 views

How do I prevent critters from chewing my sprinkler system?

I have a lot of trees in my yard...and squirrels. I'm not 100% sure the squirrels are the critters doing the damage, but it seems the most likely. My neighbor says he's seen a possum in his yard ...
11
votes
1answer
495 views

Can snail pellets be safely used in a vegetable garden? If not, any safer alternatives?

Is it safe to use snail pellets in a vegetable garden bed or will these slowly leach into the soil? Is there a safer alternative that will keep snails out, but won't be absorbed by the vegetables?
11
votes
2answers
810 views

How do I prevent parrots from snacking on my fruit trees?

I live in a neighborhood in California that has a number of parrots that, presumably, escaped from captivity sometime ago and have since multiplied in number. They are all the same kind of parrot, ...
11
votes
1answer
676 views

Tomato plant looks like it has grains of salt - what is it and how do I treat it?

My cherry tomato plant has been showing some yellowing of leaves over the past week or so. Just today I noticed the formation of these cluster of white granules - not sure if it's connected to the ...
10
votes
12answers
11k views

How do I get rid of pill bugs in my vegetable garden (or is it even the problem)?

I have had multiple plants in my vegetable garden that have seemed to just vanish from the garden over the period of about a week. I have notice pill bugs eating the remains of the plants. They seem ...
10
votes
6answers
17k views

How do I get rid of ducks from my backyard?

There are a couple of ducks in my yard (male and female). I think they have come to my backyard to make a nest. I fear that if this happens half my backyard will become off-limits due to an angry ...
10
votes
2answers
331 views

Do techniques to repel slugs also work on snails?

I have seen the thread on an organic way to repel slugs. However, usually I only see snails in my area. Will the techniques in the answer there work on snails too? Also, By the way, I've never seen ...
9
votes
2answers
706 views

Can anyone identify this abnormality that is on my dwarf citrus?

I recently noticed what looks like small beetles on our dwarf citrus tree. Can anyone identify this abnormality? Click image for full size Is this something harmful that I should attempt to ...
9
votes
2answers
357 views

Where do Asiatic Garden Beetles spend their days?

(Asiatic Garden Beetles are a new pest in the mid-atlantic and northeast US. They look like a smaller, cinnamon-colored European Chafer, the size and shape of a coffee bean. The grubs do the usual ...
9
votes
3answers
922 views

How can I discourage wasps?

We built our house last fall, and I've already found one wasp next in a corner of the eaves. I know that one of our neighbors has a huge problem with wasps, and has a large amount of exterior exposed ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I control Viburnum Beetle on my Snowball tree?

I have a mature Snowball tree (Viburnum opulus) that is stripped of its leaves and severely weakened several times a year by the viburnum beetle. The Royal Horticultural Society recommend several ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the best plants to attract Ladybugs and Praying Mantis, from your experience?

I have looked around and I have seen some recommendations for plants to attract ladybugs, for example, a few sites list that alyssum works well. I am hoping to find out others experiences about ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

What animal is eating my cherry tomatoes and strawberries?

My garden (first ever!) has been doing great. Yesterday I harvested my potatoes, which left half the garden open and bare. Some critter seemed to view this now-open landscape as an invitation to come ...
9
votes
2answers
629 views

What is this bluish-grey bug on my lettuce, and how do I treat it?

I have a planter with several lettuce plants and other plants growing on my balcony. Recently, all of "normal" leafy lettuces were rapidly overcome by a bug. A sawtooth, more mizuna-like lettuce was ...
9
votes
1answer
210 views

How does vacuuming beetles work?

I've seen advice in books and online that I can deal with my striped cucumber beetle infestation by vacuuming. Unfortunately they don't get into details. I'm ready to drag the shop vac into the ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

How can I kill or remove insects from cut flowers that I bring inside?

When I cut flowers (typically daylilies) from my garden and bring them inside, I often find I am treated to a barrage of flies over the next few days. I'm going to guess that there are maggot larvae ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

How can we protect a fig tree's fruit from birds?

We have a fairly large and productive fig tree, but we never get to enjoy the fruit because the birds always get to it first. What can we do to take advantage of this tree before my wife makes me cut ...
8
votes
1answer
513 views

What are these white bugs that leave white stains on my cars and driveway?

I have these white bugs that seem to be falling down from the tree over where I park my cars. They have feathery tendrils and are staining our cars with white drops. Any idea as to what these bugs ...
8
votes
3answers
669 views

Indoor Garden Built - Now Little Flies!

We built this indoor "garden" in our office as a prank for one of our employees who was out for a stint. It was only meant to be temporary, however we have all grown a liking to it. We ended up ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

How to protect strawberries from “predators”

I'm starting to prepare my gardening year and I'm wondering what the most efficient and organic way is to protect strawberries from birds and slugs. I'm not at all against sharing a part of my fruit ...
8
votes
1answer
86 views

How do I identify and eradicate the pest that is destroying the plants in my flowerbox?

We transplanted an assortment of pretty flowers for our windowsill some weeks ago (albeit rather crudely) and they were growing bright and healthy. Over the last week, however they've been plagued! I ...
8
votes
2answers
514 views

Best practice to prevent aphids and spider mites?

What is the best practice to prevent aphids and spider mites? I group them in one question because they make similar damage to plants. I want to know the level of humidity for aphids and spider mites ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

How can I keep earwigs from eating my basil?

Last night I found that earwigs have been eating my newly planted basil plants. They have only been in the ground for a few days, and it didn't take long for the earwigs to find them. The planted ...
7
votes
3answers
682 views

How can I discourage venomous snakes from living in my property?

I noticed that a copperhead has made his home under my front porch. He has been spotted two days in a row, and, yesterday, I nearly stepped on him. I prefer not to mess with him as I have read that ...
7
votes
6answers
5k views

How do I prevent raccoons from eating my corn?

This harvest I was not able to pick a single corn cob. Some large animal(s), I suspect raccoons, got to them before they were ripe (I would find peeled and gnawed corn littering the lawn and the corn ...
7
votes
2answers
580 views

What are these woodlouse-like bugs and how do I kill them?

I have these black woodlouse like bugs that infested my whole back yard. They are eating through many of the leaves in our garden and wreaking havoc. (Click to enlarge) What kind of pesticide / ...
7
votes
1answer
915 views

What's eating my Peaches?

Several of my peaches have this crystalised goop on the outside, as seen in the first picture. Cutting the peach open reveals some kind of bug trail. The hole the bug made is full of the sticky ...
7
votes
1answer
135 views

What is the best way to keep deer away?

I've been contemplating putting up a fence, but I'm not exactly sure how high it should be. Can anyone point me to some instructions on what specs a good deer fence should have as well as how to ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the mini-white moths on my tomato plant?

I have some tomato plants indoors. Recently a number of very small (1 mm or so) moths dwell on the leaves. What are these? Are they harmful? What can I do about them?
7
votes
2answers
412 views

What is happening to the leaves of my avocado?

I have an avocado plant in my outdoors balcony. It's been growing nicely, but there are small brown dots/holes in the leaves for some time now. I don't see anything in the underside of the leaves, and ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I handle a cricket problem without using pesticides?

I have a problem with crickets eating my seedlings and young plants. I have found very little information on keeping crickets away, as this doesn't seem to be a problem for most people. Without ...
7
votes
1answer
569 views

Are their any bad effects in using nematodes in pest control?

I have a pest situation on my apricot tree caused by the beetle Capnodis tenebrionis (see this question). I am averse to using chemical pesticides, and I read that nematodes can be used to control C. ...