5 Alabama Garden Pests To Watch Out For
While summer may be coming to an end, Alabama gardeners often continue planting and harvesting well into the fall. Due to Alabama’s warm and humid climate, many gardeners are harvesting vegetables from their own backyards well into the late fall months, typically until temperatures drop in late November or early December. While gardening season in Alabama may last longer than most places in the country, it also means that Alabama gardeners must deal with common pests for much longer than they want to. If you are a first-time gardener looking to spend the late summer and fall planting and gardening, here are 5 of the most common Alabama garden pests you need to watch out for.
While their name may suggest that these small, yellow, spotted beetles only feast on cucumbers, they devour all manner of produce, including melons, squash, and pumpkins. Watch out for holes on leaves and flowers as it is a sign that cucumber beetles may be eating your plants. Additionally, the soft-bodied white larva of this pest feed on the roots of garden vegetables which results in failed crops.
Imported Cabbage Worms
Like cucumber beetles, cabbage worms do not only feast on the vegetable they are named for but enjoy a variety of cruciferous vegetables including homegrown broccoli and cauliflower. These worms are green in color and are the pre-metamorphosis form of the white butterfly. Cabbage worms feed on the outer leaves of cruciferous vegetables and eventually bore into the center of the cabbages. Be sure to check your cabbage crops for holes on the leaves, as green cabbage worms can be difficult to spot.
Probably the most unfortunate pest to come across for Alabama gardeners is the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. These brown speckled bugs are shaped almost like a pointed oval and are roughly the size of a dime, which makes them easy to spot on green plants. These pests are typically seen when colder weather starts to roll in and pose a huge risk for home infestation. After feasting on your garden vegetables, stink bugs seek warmer temperatures in the winter and can find their way inside your home. Once inside stink bugs require professional extermination, as simply catching and crushing them releases the foul stench they are named for.
Mexican Bean Beetles
If you are hoping for an abundant crop of green beans, lima beans, and pole beans this year, you better watch out for Mexican Bean Beetles in your Alabama garden. Be sure to check the underside of your plant’s leaves, as Mexican Bean Beetle eggs are laid in telltale yellowish-orange clusters. These egg clusters feed on your crops’ leaves and leave only the veins which give the leaves a skeleton-like appearance. The adult form of these beetles is small and copper colored with black spots and is something every Alabama gardener must watch out for.
Snails And Slugs
While many people don’t think of snails and slugs as pests, and rather just part of a natural backyard ecosystem, they can wreak havoc on your garden. Snails and slugs lay eggs in the fall, and typically fuel themselves through that egg-laying process with the plants in your garden. While they often eat the plants that are still growing, they also enjoy decomposing plants and weeds that have been discarded around your garden. You can create a barrier of sawdust or crushed shells around your garden to keep snails and slugs at bay and make sure your vegetables don’t become their next meal.
While many pests may spend the summer in your garden, as the weather gets colder, they can cause a huge problem by heading inside your warm home. Thankfully, Advanced Pest Control of Alabama can help you survive an uninvited pest infestation. Advanced Pest Control is equipped to handle any common pest from ants to wasps, and even bedbugs. Whether it’s a one-time infestation removal or monthly pest control services, Advances Pest Control of Alabama has you covered. Call or contact us online today.