Common Pests and Possible SolutionsMarch 5th, 2016 by gainesvillechamber
Pests can easily destroy a landscape in a short period of time. Slugs and Amphid’s are some of the pests I have in my landscape that if not taken care of early can become a major issue.
Slugs can completely destroy a plant overnight. They have even been known to destroy complete crops if not taken care of. Here are a few ways to take care of your slug infestation.
1) Put a tablespoon or two of cornmeal in a jar and lay it on its side wherever there seems to be slug activity. The slugs love cornmeal and after eating it they die. If you want you can go out in the evening time and you should find many slugs in and around the trap. This may be a good time to easily pick them, and dispose accordingly. Beer is also another option instead of cornmeal. The slugs are attracted to the yeast and barley. They do not die from the beer though only become “drunk” and should allow you to remove them the following morning.
2) Mix plain household ammonia with water. The ratio should be about 1 part ammonia to 6 parts water. This solution does not seem to harm the plant. Once the mixture is mixed put it in a spray bottle and spritz onto the slug, come back in about 5 minutes and the slug sill have dissolved. This can only work if the slug is present. This option is for those who don’t want to touch the slug.
3) Apply Coffee grounds or eggshells around the plant. Place the used coffee grounds or egg shells in a circular perimeter around the plant you are trying to protect. (The stronger the coffee, the better). This has been proven to deter slugs from the area.
Aphids are very tiny (about a tenth of an inch long). They have soft bodies and are typically green or black in color. The issue with Aphids is that they suck the sap from the stems and leaves of the plant. This will in turn cause the plant to weaken. The worst issue of them all is the transfer of diseases as they move from plant to plant. Since they can reproduce quickly they can easily become a major issue if not handled at an early stage.
Here are a few ways to control Aphids organically.
1) Simply wipe the Aphids off the plant with your hand or soft cloth. Repeat daily until you no longer see them.
2) Grab your water hose and spray the plant causing the Aphids to fall off. Repeat daily until you no longer see them.
3) Insecticidal soap tends to work very well if the first two options just don’t seem to be working. Be sure to apply the soap to the undersides of the leaves since this is where the Aphids congregate.
4) Homemade sprays. I have heard of many options that have been successful ranging from tomato leaves to garlic oil. These tend to work well for large infestations. You will want check the weather prior to the spray application to make sure there is no rain in the forecast. Morning applications tend to work best. Please keep in mind since these sprays are non-selective they could also harm beneficial pests so one should use these sparingly.
5) Consider introducing beneficial insects into your garden suck as ladybugs.
These are just two of the MANY pests in the greater Gainesville area that could cause damage to your property.