Diagnosing Insect Damage to Your Garden

However experienced you may be in the garden, one problem that can be difficult to manage or prevent is plant damage caused by pests. Not only do they eat away and leave you with a lackluster harvest, they can also totally decimate your plant by the end of the season. 
If you're at the end of your rope with insect damage in the garden, consider these insect damage tips to help you gain the upper hand.


Find the Source

While effects of pest invasion vary from garden to garden, common damage left by garden pests include four main types of insects:
  • Suckers cause dotting on the top side of leaves. Bugs that commonly puncture plant tissues to feed on juices include spider mites, white flies, stink bugs and scale.
  • Chewers gnaw holes in leaves. These types of insects usually include caterpillars, beetles and grasshoppers.
  • Borers chew holes into woody stems; caterpillars and beetles are the common culprits.
  • Root feeders cause damage at soil level, or below. Typically, this sort of damage comes from beetle grubs.


Be Vigilant

The best way to keep ahead of insect damage in your garden is to be observant - even in the off-season. Keep tabs on the bugs around your plants, and watch what sort of life is crawling around in your trees and larger shrubs, as the problems your vegetable garden faces in the peak of summer start in the bark of your favorite tree during late autumn, when insects bed down for the winter.
If you suspect damage, take photos and log details over a few days. Then, work with your local resources to determine the best approach to weeding out the offending insects for good. Sometimes the best answers and solutions regarding insects in your garden come from people at a local feed store, co-op or garden center.