10 Common Garden Pests and How to Get Rid of Them

Organic life that feasts on weed seeds and harmful insects is a gardener’s friend but when the same creatures start wrecking havoc on your raised bed of vegetable gardens, it is best to keep these unwelcome visitors out of your garden with professional pest control service.

Common Garden Pests

Following are 10 most destructive pests that have detrimental effects on growing edibles along with safe and simple control solutions:

1. Aphids

These tiny looking, pear-shaped pests feature two prominent tubes pointing rearward and are typically found on flowers, fruits, vegetables and shade trees. Aphids suck plant sap and excrete honeydew on leaves which leads to mold growth, spread of viral diseases, distortion of foliage and shedding of leaves.

To control aphids, you can spray your plants with horticultural oil, pepper, garlic, or neem, wash them using insecticidal soap, and when feasible cover the plants with floating row covers.

2. Birds

Flocks of starlings, robins, and blackbirds are all known to munch on ripening fruits, corn seedlings, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbages, potatoes, peas, and melons, causing significant damage to crops.

Scare tactics do not offer a long-term solution for smart birds. Effective bird control solutions include spikes, shock tracks, mechanical traps, netting, and wire barriers that protect fruits, berries, germinating seedlings and maturing crops from being eaten away. You can also consider hiring a pest control service provider to humanely deter the birds.

3. Cabbage Maggot

Found throughout North America, cabbage maggots stick to cabbage crops and tunnel in roots creating entryways for disease-causing organisms. These destructive critters can be easily controlled by applying floating row covers or parasitic nematodes near the roots. You can also spray some pepper dust around the stems to keep maggots at bay.

4. Caterpillars

Mostly harmless, caterpillars are voracious eaters who devour foliage and can ravage plants overnight. They are capable of causing heavy damage to garden plants but can be safely eliminated by encouraging parasites and native predators. Neem oil is highly effective when used around vegetables to prevent caterpillars from chewing stalks and stems.    

5. Codling Moth

Codling moth is one of the most hazardous pests that feast on apple and form tunnels by chewing into the flesh around the entry hole. The best pest control solution to eradicate moths is to apply strong organic sprays before they find their way inside the fruit and to hang pheromone traps during the spring season.

6. Cut Worms

Fat and 1-inch long with black segmented larvae, cut worms are mostly found on flower seedlings and early vegetables. Cut worms can be easily handpicked below the soil surface or you can also use cutworm collars on transplants.

7. Earwig

With a prominent pair of forceps-like pincers on their abdomen, earwigs are typically characterized by membranous wings. These are nocturnal creatures that typically feed on clematis, dahlia, and chrysanthemum flowers. You can easily lure them into pots filled with straw and upturned flowers and set them free elsewhere.

8. Leaf Miner

Leaf miner is the larva of moths, flies, and beetles that feed on leaves, leaving surface trails and discolored blotches. Most leaf miner is harmless and does not need pest control.

9. Spider Mites

These are tiny mites that live under leaves and suck plant sap which results in yellow mottling and visibly fine webs. To get rid of spider mites you can raise the levels of humidity and install a biological control under glass or you can also use organic sprays.

10. Slugs and Snails

Slugs and snails are typically nocturnal feeders that can be found in moist and shady areas during the day. They feed on low hanging fruits, leaves, roots, and stems and the easiest way to get rid of these critters is to reduce the excess moisture in your garden, remove dead organic matter, use bait components and copper traps.


If buying and applying pesticides sounds like a hassle, you can always schedule a pest inspection with a commercial pest control service provider. Hiring a pest control service provider that is fully-equipped with safe, effective, and eco-friendly pest control solutions will help you humanely deter birds, insects, and every organic life that is capable of damaging and sickening your plants and crops.

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  • Megan says:

    Great line up of pests. Where are the remedies? What flowers are the best to grow to encourage the predator bugs? Nasturtium, yarrow, buckwheat, violas, QAL…and many others are all good biological answers to pest control. What other ways can I encourage the goodies into my orchard?


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