Written by Karen Bates (last updated September 5, 2014)
While out working in the garden, you are sure to encounter all sorts of critters living around your plants. Some of these creatures are simply looking for a place to hide, while others are interested in snacking on the plants in your garden. You may even find insects that could be dangerous to you and your family if not taken care of properly.
At first glance, you may not be able to tell which of your garden's inhabitants are pests and which are harmless. To be sure you aren't putting your plants at risk, it is important to know if you have garden pests around your plants so you can get rid of them. You can learn to identify which insects are harmful, helpful, or neutral when it comes to the plants in your garden.
When it comes to dealing with garden pests, begin by observing your garden. Take note of what kinds of bugs are present, and then keep track of any damage you find to your plants. Odds are good that you will be able to see harmful insects in the act of destroying your plants, and this will help you know which steps to take next to save your garden.
There are a few methods you can use to help you identify which pests are harming your garden. By picking up on certain clues that these pests leave behind, you can better decide how to deal with the problem in the right way.
First, note which plants are being targeted by pests. This will help you to narrow down the possibilities because some insects prefer particular plants. From here, you can search through reference books or internet sites to help you find which pest is causing you problems. For instance, if you notice that something has been eating your tomatoes, search for bugs that primarily dine on the tomato plant to give you the best chance of finding out more information. You can narrow down your search even more by taking where you live into account. Some garden pests are either more or less prevalent in particular climates, so look into harmful insects that are known to live in your region.
Of course, one of the best things you can do to identify pests in the garden is to look for the pest itself. Not all insects will be easy to spot, but look at the leaves of the plant and the soil around the plant to see if any insects are visible. You can then use their physical characteristics to help you find out what kind of insect they are.
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