Any gardener who has spent time growing flowers knows that bulbs are especially vulnerable to attack from pests. While some bugs actually benefit your garden in a variety of ways, there are a whole host of other insects, mites and invertebrates that particularly enjoy munching on your growing bulbs. It’s very difficult to totally eliminate these pests, but the best way to begin addressing the problem is to understand what you’re up against. With that in mind, here are a few of the most common pests that may be eyeing your bulbs for their next snack.
Aphids are one of the most common pest infestations, and they can be a serious problem if they are allowed to get out of control. Most common in early spring, these small, soft-bodied little critters are pear-shaped and may appear various shades of green, yellow or even black. In addition to causing physical damage to plantings, they can also transmit viruses that can infect and kill your plants.
Slugs and Snails
These small, slimy little pests are easier to spot than some other pests, but they can still cause damage. They’re most active at night, and they like to hide out in cool, dark places and under piles of plant debris. They generally feed on decaying vegetation, but growing populations can also cause damage to live plants. Cleaning your garden regularly and occasionally inspecting it at night with a flashlight can help to minimize the threat. You can simply pick the slugs off or use traps to cut down on the slug population.
There are a few varieties of mites, but bulb mites are unsurprisingly known for damaging bulbs. More closely related to spiders than to any insects, bulb mites live in the soil and are nearly translucent white in color. They most often feed on bulbs that have already been damaged or weakened in some way, so it’s best to discard damaged bulbs before planting if you suspect mites may be an issue.
Thrips are extremely small and slender, but they can do a lot of damage. They’re most easily identified by their two pairs of wings, which are fringed with long, delicate hairs. They often live inside the bulbs of plants, and it can be hard to detect them until it’s too late and the bulb has already been permanently damaged. You can help to prevent a problem by soaking bulbs in 120 degree water for at least an hour before planting, which should kill off any thrips inside.
For pest control services, contact Clegg’s online or via phone at 888-672-5344.