How to identify a garden pest

Garden pests are insects that cause a significant amount of either monetary or aesthetic damage to a plant.

Simply put, the insect establishes a parasitic relationship with the plant, feeding off it, causing deterioration in the plant’s quality or physical appearance.

Pests can come in different shapes, sizes, and numbers. For some gardeners, identifying pests can be a difficult task, especially when the insects aren’t present when the damaged plants are discovered.

Here are some tips that could ease the chore of determining the type of garden pest being dealt with:

  1. Identification through physical description. This method can only be used if the insect is around for the gardener to get a thorough look at its size, shape, color, leg and wing count, and other physical attributes. Afterwards, check the internet or ask a knowledgeable gardener for any information that matches the data gathered. This might bring up results on how to properly address the pest problem in the garden.

  2. Check for the type of damage. Many insects leave behind distinct feeding patterns that are unique to their species. This approach helps narrow down the selection of which garden pest has been present, especially if paired with the next method.

  3. Find out what type of plant was attacked. Some insects are known to only consume one species of plant. Matching the plant type with the insects that commonly feed on it is another way to learn the identity of a pest.

Most likely, it would take just one approach out of three to properly identify garden pests. In other cases, it may need a combination of two or three methods for more accurate results.

After you’ve identified the pest, you can now find out how to deal with it. Again, searching online or asking a seasoned farmer or gardener will help you get rid of the pest and prevent future infestation.

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