It’s peak growing season in North Carolina for home gardens and while growing your own little personal crops can be a fun, fulfilling and healthy endeavor, gardens are also threatened by a range of different pests- many of them insects-  who want to make your hard work their own personal feast. So which pests do you need to keep an eye out for in North Carolina? Here are 5 garden nuisances to be on the lookout for as we enter growing season.

  1. Stink Bugs- Stink bugs in North Carolina are still a relatively new phenomenon- they first arrived in the Tar Heel State in 2009– but they have very quickly established themselves as an absolute terror to home-gardens. Stink Bugs are especially attracted to fruit, vegetable, and soy; in other words they are largely equal opportunity crop destroyers, and can be active throughout the entire growing season.
  2. Aphids- Aphids are tiny, nearly imperceptible insects that are frequently found on a whole range of different fruits and veggies depending on the species of aphid. Because they feed on plant juices, they tend to leave behind a sticky substance on the stems and leaves of the plants that they are after, and can deform flowers or fruits. They can also transmit viruses from plant to plant, which makes them an especially serious threat to gardens.Luckily, they are fairly easy to eliminate/prevent; a spray of cold water can launch aphids off of your garden plants, and they are repelled by catnip of all things. You can also introduce good insects, like ladybugs, into the equation–they are aphid eaters and can eliminate them for you!
  3. Caterpillars- While some caterpillars will someday evolve into beautiful butterflies, in the meantime they can cause serious garden damage. Cutworms attack seedlings, corn earworms go after ripening corn, cabbage moth caterpillars will go after a whole range of leafy veggies, from kale to broccoli to- you guessed it- cabbage. That’s just a few examples of the types of caterpillars that can cause major damage to gardens, so if you find them crawling around in your garden, watch out!
  4. Grasshoppers- Grasshoppers aren’t just great leapers; they’re also the culprits of some major garden damage. In fact, there are around 30 species of grasshopper that fall into the category of “garden pests”, and the scope of the destruction that they can cause is no joke. Grasshoppers in large amounts can destroy a home garden, and are especially big threats to grass, leaves and stems of fruits as well as grains, soy, cotton and corn. 
  5. Beetles- Beetles are one of the most frequent offenders when it comes to garden damage, and in North Carolina the most frequently seen garden-damaging beetle is the Japanese Beetle. While they are frequent, usually their damage is purely aesthetic; Japanese Beetles usually don’t cause severe damage to the actual functionality of the plant. Still, if you want your garden looking gorgeous, there’s no doubt you’ll find a Japanese Beetle presence a major nuisance.Garden pests can very quickly become in-home pests because the sorts of pests that go after your garden will often begin to work their way indoors sooner or later. That’s why it’s so important to have a protection plan in place that will keep your home and property pest-free. At City Wide Exterminating, we have options. We’re ready to protect your home and property from all types of warm-weather pests, whether it’s pests in your garden or pests in the home–just contact us.
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