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Garden Pest

I doubt very seriously if there has ever been a garden either outside or indoors that hasn't been plagued by some kind of garden pest.

First let have a flag blowing in the breeze while we go to work. POW Flags - You are not forgotten!

Depending on  where you live you could have bats, birds that get on fruit trees and vines, coyote, deer, mice (of all kinds), gophers, ground squirrels, raccoons,  snakes, moles -- the list can go on and on about garden pests. These are the "wild life" kind and all considered a garden pest.   I know this is quite a listing of garden pest, but this isn't all!

There are aphids, white flies, snails and one that we are going to talk about the most here, the   Foliage-feeding caterpillars.  Talk about a garden pest,  the caterpillar is right up there among the garden pests. They are fast little critters and do much damage in a short period of time.

Most flowers and many vegetables are susceptible to damage from caterpillars of one or more species.   Caterpillars are the immature or larval stage of moths and butterflies. Only the larval stage chews plants. How very nice of this garden pest!

Although adult caterpillar  consume only liquids, such as nectar and water, they are important because they choose which plants to lay eggs on. Larvae have three pairs of legs on the thorax (the area immediately behind the head) and leg like appendages on some, but not all, segments of the abdomen.Yes, the caterpillar is definitely a garden pest!  

Now if you have had caterpillars and they have done damage before you are aware of them, if it is important that you provide proper cultural care. Allow the plants to continue to grow and if this garden pest hasn't devistated them too badly, they will usually outgrow and replace any damaged tissue after infestations are controlled. Of course keeping an eye watching for more is also important.  If the plant(s) don't seem to recover properly, you may want to replace the plant(s).

Snails are another big problem or garden pest for those who live near water. Snails and slugs are among the most bothersome pests in many gardens and landscapes.

Snails are controlled by a nontoxic material that breaks down into an iron compound that plants can use as a nutrient supplement. Snails lay eggs and you can find yourself with many little snails. You can buy snail bait at your nursery and they will be glad to supply any additional information you might require--like will it hurt your animals if they eat the bait.  Yes, you want to get the snail population under control as soon a humanly possible.

Now let's talk about the gopher-- another garden pest.  All pocket gophers create a network of tunnel systems that provide protection and a means of collecting food. They are larder hoarders, and their cheek pouches are used for transporting food back to their burrows. Gophers can collect large hoards. Unlike ground squirrels, gophers do not live in large communities and seldom find themselves above ground. 

The entrances can be identified by small piles of loose dirt covering the opening. Their burrows can be found in many areas where the soil is softer and easily tunneled. They will often appear in vegetable gardens, lawns, or farms, as gophers like moist soil. Gophers will eat your bulbs, roots and about anything else they can pull down into their burrows.  There are soil treatments that can help eliminate the gopher as a garden   pests.

Gophers, a continuing problem, are often controlled by trapping with stainless steel snap traps. Also, many time the gopher populations are reduced by local predators.  If you have gophers in your garden or yard, your cat is a great asset. Cats are great gopher hunters.

There are numerous databases with information on garden pest control. Again if you elect to use spray be very careful in using it and very careful about using it around any water. It doesn't take much to contaiment your lakes, ponds and streams. Your birds use the water in the birdbath. There are many regulations about this and please be sure and read the instructions VERY CAREFULLY!!

Don't allow your dog or cat to lick the spray bottle -- don't get the spray near water -- remember the spay that you are using for any garden pest is poison.  If you have a can or container large enough to hold the spray bottle, and it has a lid, this is a good place to store the spray.

Well, here you have it -- some of the worst and most persistent garden pests.  Look at it as a game to see how many garden pest you can eliminate from your garden or yard.