How to Get Rid of Bugs Killing My Vegetable Plants

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Humans aren't the only species who enjoy eating vegetables; bugs also enjoy the healthy treat, as well. Many home gardeners are all too familiar with the effects insects have on their vegetable crop -- they can eat leaves, infiltrate the vegetables and ultimately kill the crop. You're likely looking for ways to get rid of the bugs, if they're occupying your vegetables. A little effort and help from a few products can help you reclaim your garden.

Things You'll Need

  • Yellow sticky traps
  • Tweezers
  • Gloves
  • Plastic container or bag
  • Insecticide
  • Garden hose
  • Lay yellow sticky traps on the soil around the affected vegetable plants. Bugs that attempt to scurry over the trap will become stuck in the sticky adhesive. The bugs cannot escape and will remain on the trap until you throw the trap away. Traps are also effective against larvae that feed off of the bottom of the plant and its roots. Replace the traps and allow them to reside on the soil until they stop collecting bugs.

  • Remove bugs and their eggs from your vegetables with tweezers or gloved fingers. Place the bugs in a lidded plastic container or a resealable plastic bag. Empty the bugs out of the containers when done collecting or pour boiling water over them to destroy them.

  • Attract beneficial bugs to your garden. Beneficial bugs destroy the bugs that do harm to your garden. The type of bug you need depends on the type of bug you are trying to get rid of. For instance, ladybugs will eat scales and mites. Plants that contain pollen and nectar, such as dill, cosmos and sweet alyssum, often attract ladybugs to gardens, so they can get busy chomping down on the pesky bugs.

  • Spray an insecticide that is safe to use for vegetables over your crop. Such insecticides will kill the bugs on the vegetables without causing any harm to the plants. Most insecticides are sprayed onto the plant, but read your product's label to know how your particular brand works.

  • Spray the affected plants with a strong spray of water from the hose. Some garden pests, such as the aphid, will fall off of the plant when squirted with a strong blast of water. Some will even drown or die from the impact. Bug eggs, which are often found on the undersides of the leaves, will also often become knocked off of the plant with water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Yellow sticky traps and insecticide are often available at garden centers.
  • Contact your local extension for help on which beneficial bugs can resolve your garden pest problem.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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