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5 Outdoor Pests to Watch Out For

Picture of outdoor pest on leaf

When most people think about pests, they think about indoor pests such as roaches, ants, and silverfish. However, there are many insects that cause damage to your landscape and yard, too. These exterior pests may not contaminate your food or leave odors in your basement, but they are every bit as annoying. Below, you will learn the basics about five common outdoor pests.

1. Oakworms

Oak trees are gorgeous and majestic, but they may also attract a pest known as the oakworm. These small, yellow-green caterpillars turn black as they grow older. They appear on the tree in the spring, feeding on its leaves and causing defoliation.

If you want your oak tree to remain lush and leafy, you must catch an oakworm infestation early. Have a pest control company inject your oak tree’s trunk with pesticides. The tree will circulate the pesticides through the leaves, killing caterpillars as they feed.

2. Fruit Tree Leaf Rollers

Several varieties of moths lay their eggs on fruit tree leaves. When these eggs hatch, they develop into caterpillars that feed on the leaves. Like oakworms, the moth larvae can cause extensive defoliation if allowed to feed unchecked. A fruit tree that loses its leaves is unlikely to produce a good fruit crop.

Fighting fruit tree leaf rollers requires a comprehensive approach. Have the tree sprayed with insecticides as soon as you notice the caterpillars. The next spring, check the tree early for egg masses, removing any that you find before they have a chance to hatch.

3. Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees don’t sting and they are important pollinators for a number of plants, so they might seem harmless. Unfortunately, they can cause a lot of damage to a fence or deck when they burrow into the wood to build a nest.

A carpenter bee’s tunnel may look small because the opening is small, but given enough time, the bee will build an extensive tunnel stretching through the length of a wood beam. This weakens the wood, making it increasingly prone to cracking and decay.

To get rid of wood bees, you must treat each tunnel with insecticide. Dust-type insecticides are generally the easiest to apply. Once the bees are dead, you must fill the tunnels with wood paste or caulk to prevent other bees from taking up residence inside of them.

4. Gall Mites

Gall mites are tiny insects that feed on a plant’s leaves. You may not see the mites themselves, but you will see the galls, or raised bumps, that they cause. These bumps appear as the plant reacts to the presence of the mites’ saliva.

The damage caused by gall mites is mostly cosmetic, so control of the mites is not required. However, if you are bothered by the appearance of the galls, you can have the most affected leaves removed, which will help keep the mites from spreading.

5. Aphids

Aphids are small, barely visible insects with pear-shaped bodies. Some species are black, while others are brown, yellow, or green. They live on and feed on the leaves of plants such as cabbage, potatoes, melons, apples, and tomatoes. Aphid damage often causes leaves to curl up and turn yellow.

The best way to remove aphids is often to spray the plant with water, which knocks the insects off the leaves and leaves them unable to find their way back. For more serious infestations, insecticide sprays are effective. Planting garlic and chives in your garden helps keep aphids away.

All of these pests have one thing in common: the sooner you take action, the easier they are to get rid of. If you notice any of these pests invading your garden or yard, give the experts at Jones Bros. Pest Control, Inc. a call. We offer a wide range of pest control services to keep your home and land in great shape.

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