Pests That Can Damage Your Plants

By: albertaarb - June 30, 2014

Some garden pests are beneficial. Damsel bugs and lady beetles eat aphids; lacewings and ground beetles are voracious predators. But, crawling, flying, and boring, many creepy pests can damage your garden plants. The harm done by pest damage can cost you money, time, and the pleasure of your flowers, bushes, and trees.

Before the damage grows and spreads, learn to recognize and treat the pests that can damage your plants.

Asian Longhorned Beetle

The Asian Longhorned Beetle hitches rides to North America on shipping crates and pallets. Black with white specks, it has long antennae. It loves to chew into the bark of hardwood trees to leave larvae that feed on the tree and starve it to death. 

Emerald Ash Borer

You have to worry about any pest with the word "borer" in its name.

The Emerald Ash Borer immigrated from the far east and showed up around Detroit, MI. In the 1990s, they started attacking ash trees in the Ottawa area and Quebec communities.

These creatures are double-trouble. The adults feed on the edges of ash leaves and the larvae feed into the wood of the tree beneath the bark where they incubate. Ash trees are not native to Canada. But they have been planted throughout the country because of their beauty.

So, the Emerald Ash Borer represents a critical threat to the economy and ecosystem.

Apple Clearwing Moth

The Apple Clearwing Moth entered British Columbia about 2005. Apple trees throughout the Similkameen and Okanagan Valleys have suffered since, and the pest seems to be spreading its wings and range. All apple rootstocks and varieties are vulnerable. But the larvae seem to enter the trunk through burr knots, pruning cuts, and near graft unions.

The larvae will kill young trees or weaken the limbs and fruit of older trees. Because of the potential devastation to the apple industry, people are urged to not relocate apple trees, rootstock, or apple wood without the advice of professional arborists.

European Paper Wasp

Cherries and grapes and the people who pick them are vulnerable to attacks by the European Paper Wasp. Less aggressive than yellow jackets or hornets, they are very protective of their many upside down nests. More important is the damage they do by biting off the skin of the fruit and improving the spread of fruit killing bacteria and fungus.

Slugs and Snails

Coastal British Columbia has the humidity that slugs and snails feed in at night. They have huge appetites for their little bodies, and they eat just about everything. There are more than 94 species although only a specialist could tell the difference - or care to. They will take their time, but if not dealt with, they will nibble away at everything in your vegetable garden. Fortunately for gardeners, one of their favorite treats is a shallow dish of beer, a fine organic death.

Trees, bushes, or flowers and vegetables are all subject to invasive pests. And they all need care, advice, and treatment by professional arborists.

Experienced arborists prefer to deal with insects and disease in preventive ways. They recognize that the problem may have other origins, because problems usually occur in already weakened plants. They believe in solutions like:

-Monitoring quality soil

-Pruning to enable light and sun

-Developing nutritional feeding and care

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