Admittedly, homeowners in Florida have a lot less winter to contend with than our northern counterparts. On the flip side, we also miss out on a lot of the fun parts of winter, like skiing and making snowmen on the front lawn. Instead, our version of winter is a couple of months of cold weather and the loss of all life from our yards. If you’re an avid gardener, you know the pain of walking outside day after day, just waiting for the moment when you’ll see the first green of spring peeking through. And when it does, it’s well worth the wait. As we’re fully into springtime in Florida, there’s probably another frustration on your mind: pests.
It’s a shame that such a lovely hobby comes hand in hand with such a disappointing issue, but pests are inevitable in Florida and are, therefore, something we have to work around. Before we dive into the world of garden pest control, know that pests are always something we’re going to contend with in Florida. The environment here is as perfect for pests as it is for gardening. The only thing you can do for sure to protect your garden from unwanted bugs is to invest in consistent pest control.
The list of garden pests is longer than we could possibly review here, but there are some pests that tend to be more of a problem than others.
One pest most people are familiar with is called the Eastern Lubber Grasshopper. These giant black and yellow pests can grow to be more than three inches long and eat everything in sight. In early spring, you’ll notice them as tiny black grasshoppers that you might even say are cute. However, it doesn’t take long for those cute little guys to mature and damage your hard work.
Snail and slug infestations are some of the hardest to diagnose. They don’t hop around like grasshoppers or buzz around like flies. They don’t make webs and, being nocturnal, are rarely captured in action. If you begin to see holes in the leaves of your plants, check the soil at the base of the plant or turn your potted plants over to check the bottom of the pot. It’s not surprising to find snails and slugs hiding in the dark.
Tiny pests like aphids and spider mites are very common in Florida gardens and difficult to control. Unlike the pests listed above, which you can see easily with the naked eye, you’ll need a keen eye and some patience to recognize these pests in the wild.
Caring For Your Garden
Depending upon the type of garden you’re growing, there are various ways you can protect your plants from pests. You can place a container garden on top of a weed barrier which will also keep unwanted pests from accessing your plants from below. A food garden can be covered with netting, making it inaccessible to some pests. The most important thing you can do as a gardener is to remain vigilant and keep your eye out for signs and symptoms of pest infestation. If you see things that don’t look right, there’s a good chance those things need to be addressed. Yellowing leaves, plants that appear to be chewed on, and plants that are spontaneously dying are all essential things to look out for. As we mentioned, some pests are too small to see from far away, so get up close and personal with your plants as much as possible so that you can provide pest control as soon as you can.
Why Consistent Pest Control Matters
There’s nothing worse than losing plants in your spring garden to a pest infestation. At Holder Pest Contol, we’ve seen that the best way to stay on top of any potential pest issues is through consistent and ongoing pest control service. The one-off treatments you get at the store may work for a moment (though often they’re not that effective), but it’s only a matter of time before the next pest-related catastrophe lands in your garden.
We’re proud to be your local pest control experts. Our team has been treating gardens of all shapes and sizes for decades, and we’d love to serve you too. Contact our office for more information about our services and sign up for a free estimate from a member of our team.