There are at least 30 different common garden pests found in South Australia. Any of these pests can find their way even into a well-maintained garden, destroying your trees and sending years of hard work down the drain.
But, how do you know that you’re dealing with a pest problem, and what can you do about it? Is there an easy and sure-fire way to get rid of garden pests? Read on as we answer all of these in this blog post.
Tell-tale Signs of a Garden Pest Problem
Do you have a garden pest problem? Some homeowners may not recognise signs of pest problems until it’s too late. Here are some signs you should watch out for:
Large holes in leaves
Many different pests feed on the leaves of various trees and plants. Some leaves may even be a pest’s favourite! Some of these pests can leave plants and trees utterly destroyed in a matter of weeks, so you need to act fast once you notice large holes in your tree leaves.
Leaves falling out of season
Elm trees are popular throughout the cooler regions of Australia. They’re low maintenance once established, and they feature big, beautiful foliage. But if you notice defoliation or leaves falling out of the normal season, or if you notice ‘shot holes’ or skeletonisation of the leaves, you might be facing a serious elm leaf beetle infestation.
Stunted branch growth and trunk health
Aside from looking at the leaves, look at the branches to see if they’re experiencing stunted growth. Is their growth much less than the previous years? Are there dead branches or branch dieback? Are there holes on the trunk? Moths, caterpillars, borers, beetles, and budworms are all common pests that can cause all of these issues.
Way too many ladybugs
Ladybugs aren’t your enemies, but aphids are. Thankfully, aphids are a ladybug’s favourite meal. The ladybugs will help you get rid of some of the aphids, but they may not be able to take them all out.
If you’re seeing a few ladybugs here and there, they may just be checking out your garden to see if there’s any pest they could probably eat. If you’re seeing a whole lot of ladybugs, it’s a definite sign you have an aphid infestation.
What to Do about Pesky Garden Pests
Saving your garden after it’s been infested will take a lot of hard work. It may even take years for your garden and trees to recover depending on how extensive the damage is. When it comes to dealing with garden pests in the Adelaide Hills, it’s best to get in touch with a professional, however, there are some things you can do yourself to help your garden battle, prevent, and recover from these infestations.
How do you get rid of garden pests on your own?
You can’t just spray some pesticide on your garden and hope for the best. There are steps you should follow for specific pests, but catching them early is the best solution. We’ve already given you some signs to look out for, so here are a few other things you might want to check.
The first step to garden pest control is the identification of the creatures pestering your garden. For early infestations of aphids, for example, picking them by hand and then spraying the leaves and their undersides with cold water, a mild pesticide, or garlic spray may solve the issue. For European earwig infestations, you can attract them with any organic material like damp newspapers, orange rinds, and even beer!
Once you’re sure about the specific pest you’re dealing with, you’re going to use some tools and products to help you control the pests. As we’ve mentioned, garlic sprays, cold water, and mild pesticides are best for aphids, while organic materials like oranges, beer, and dampened newspapers are best for European earwigs. Here are other things you’ll need for other types of infestations:
- For mealy bugs, spray them with pressurised water to wash down the plants or trees, or you can just dab some rubbing alcohol on the bugs to kill them without harming the plants.
- For scale insects, wipe them away with a damp cloth and spray the area with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
- For slugs and snails, just pick them up by hand and drop them into a bucket of water and soap. You can prevent these slimy pests from getting near your garden by placing crushed eggshells, wood shavings, and sawdust on the soil surrounding your plants.
- For whiteflies, remove the infected leaves and hose the plants down every single day until the whiteflies dwindle in numbers.
- For spider mites, water your plants adequately and prevent them from getting hot and dry. You can spray them with insecticidal soap or hose them down with pressurised water.
However, these solutions are for early infestations only. You can also choose to introduce ladybugs, lacewings, hoverflies or any of these pests’ natural predators into your garden, but you need to be 100% sure that the new addition doesn’t harm your garden. If you feel that the pests are taking over your garden and that DIY solutions aren’t making too much of a difference, you might want to try out the next solution: hiring a professional arborist.
Should you hire a professional instead?
Of course, not everybody has the time and the capacity to deal with all these pesky garden pests.
You need to be able to identify the type of pest correctly before going with any product. Some products may be ineffective against some pests, and some products may be harmful to specific plants, trees, and other beneficial bugs. Though most of the products used by arborists are available for purchase from hardware stores and garden centres, the products may be sold in quantities too impractical for any homeowner to purchase.
The tools used by professional arborists may not be readily available to those looking to DIY. Tall trees may be trickier to treat than, say, a small shrub. If branches need to be cut, arborists may even use cranes and other specialised equipment.
Arborists can provide your garden with specialised care dedicated to every individual tree. Not only can they professionally remove pests from your garden, they can even help prevent re-infestation! They can also help your tree recover after a bad disease, and help you ensure that your trees can go back to their former glory.
With licenses, insurances, and guarantees in place, you can always put your mind at ease when you’re working with a professional arborist.
Adelaide Hill Tree Services – Garden Pest Removal
Whatever kind of pest you’re dealing with, garden experts and arborists from Adelaide Hills Tree Services will be able to help you out. It can be just any other boring garden pest, or it could be as destructive as the fruit or the beetle borers.
Our professional services include accurately recognising pests that disturb and destroy your trees and implementing the most effective ways to get rid of these pests. We’ll work on your garden and make the safety of your garden, your property, and the people in and around the area our top priorities.
If you’re concerned and are suspecting some serious pest infestation, don’t hesitate to contact Adelaide Hill Tree Services. We offer professional and fully-insured pest control services, but we’re also well-versed in tree removal, pruning, trimming, stump removal, mulching, and many other kinds of tree services.