IDENTIFYING GARDEN PESTS

Uh oh! Chances are you have arrived at our "Pests Page" because you have found some bugs in your hydroponics garden. Our condolences; but please know this was bound to happen, sooner or later.

Cute but deadly garden pests







Where the heck did they come from? You used sterile medium, practiced good housekeeping in your grow room, and the darn thing is in a back bedroom! So how did these little critters find their way to your plants? (Sometimes I think they "spontaneously generate" out of thin air).

BATTLE OF THE BUGS


Identifying garden pests can sometimes be daunting.

Whatever, they are here, so what to do about it? You don't want to grab a can of Raid and douse your new garden with poison, right?

We suggest a gradually escalating plan of attack, starting with the safest (and greenest) pest eradication methods first:

1. SEARCH & DESTROY
Grab a magnifying glass, find the bugs, and pick them off by hand, killing them as you go. Now this method, obviously, is only effective in the early stages of pest-infestation, when there are just a few. But this can be very effective if you do it daily, and stay on top of the situation.  Understand hydroponic garden maintenance and pest prevention here.

2. NATURAL PREDATORS
Are you in a greenhouse, or on a screened-in porch? Beneficial bugs like ladybugs and lacewings have voracious appetites, and can completely rid your setup of the bad bugs.... like aphids or mealybug... in a day or two. You might even try this in a closed off back bedroom, BUT, for obvious reasons, you don't want to try this in your living room.  Read all about beneficial insects/ biological pest control here.

3. MILD ORGANIC PESTICIDES
I know, I know, you wanted to stay chemical-free! But when your beautiful new garden is swarming with thousands of white flies, and you are in danger of losing the whole crop... this is a true test of your "pesticide-free" resolve. We have had to resort to some of the milder organic agents ourselves, and with great success. Try everything else first, but you may decide in the end to resort to the "final solution" for your unwanted visitors.  Read about recommended organic pesticides here.

THE TOP 6 PLANT PESTS


Our handy guide to identifying garden pests

Okay, now we get right to it! These are the pests most likely to be giving you headaches right now...

  1. APHIDS- Have clusters of tiny, squishy, soft-bodied insects on the undersides of the leaves?  You've probably got aphids.
     
  2. WHITEFLIES- Zillions of tiny white moths fluttering about your plants?  Sounds like whiteflies.
     
  3. SPIDER MITES- Lots of tiny yellow speckles dotting the leaves of your crops?  Might be spider mites.
     
  4. MEALYBUGS- Got globs of cottony masses in the crooks of the stems?  Maybe you've got a mealybug invasion.
     
  5. THRIPS- Are some of your leaves curling up and covered with whitish or silvery spots?  This could be thrips.
     
  6. FUNGUS GNATS- Are there swarms of tiny black flies hovering over your nutrient vat or settling on your media? Those are likely  nasty little fungus gnats.

PLANT DISEASES



powdery mildew

Identifying garden pests can sometimes prove futile…

There are other plagues besides insects which can lay waste to your new garden. Learn about the most common plant diseases, and how to prevent and treat them here:

MOLD, MILDEW, FUNGUS, VIRUSES & ALGAE



Identifying garden pests...

There is one disadvantage to the hydroponics method of gardening that we need to explain here. The hydro process allows you to pack many plants in closer together due to the smaller root systems and a super-enriched nutrient bed. Hydroponics is a true form of "intensive gardening", capable of producing an amazing amount of crops from a small space.

BUT... this crop density also allows for the quick spread of pests or diseases. Insects, funguses and mildews can overtake your entire hydro garden in a matter of a few days. And once they take hold, they are not very easy to eradicate.

This is why PREVENTION is the best way to keep a disastrous bug-festation from ruining your hydroponic garden. Read our  Pest Prevention page  to learn how to stay one step ahead of these tiny but deadly spoilers.


RETURN FROM IDENTIFYING GARDEN PESTS TO HOME PAGE

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