Many vegetable garden pests can spend winter in or near your Washington state garden, eager to help themselves to your winter vegetables. Vegetable garden pest control must continue even through the cooler months of the year.
To learn how to keep pests out of a winter vegetable garden, get to know these seven common vegetable garden pests.
- Look for: Soft-bodied, limbless gastropods (“stomach-foot”) that use slime to move about
- Find them: Hibernating slugs may be in your topsoil, remove them by hand at night; you may also find them in the evenings moving around your leafy plants
- Cure them: Either get professional help with ridding your winter garden of slugs, or try shallow pans with beer in them
- Look for: Very small black or brown beetles
- Find them: By the small, round holes they eat in your plant leaves
- Cure them: Rotate your crops; enlist a professional pest control company’s help
Sap-sucking whiteflies will wilt your vegetables with no discernible damage to leaves.
- Look for: Immature flat, oval, white or greenish, semitransparent pupae on plant stems
- Find them: On the undersides of leaves, where they will tap the midribs and veins
- Cure them: Try hot pepper wax, or talk to a professional pest control technician
- Look for: Tiny, pear-shaped insects in a wide range of colors, with or without wings
- Find them: Nearly everywhere in your winter garden, including cabbage, kale, and lettuce
- Cure them: Try a natural garlic spray, or consult a pest control company for more extensive integrated pest management
- Look for: Dark brown pupae of the black cutworm moth, about ¾” long
- Find them: Feeding at ground level on stalks and hanging leaves, or overwintering in the soil
- Cure them: Weed diligently; consult a reliable pest management firm for a sure cure
- Look for: Tiny, bullet-shaped yellow eggs on the underside of cabbage leaves; the larva is green and a constant eater
- Find them: On cabbage leaves, and in the heads of broccoli and cabbages
- Cure them: Cover cabbage rows with fabric to discourage cabbageworm adults (butterflies); contact a professional pest controller about foliage sprays that include the bacterial insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis
- Look for: Long, brownish-red insects nearly an inch long
- Find them: Chewing up leaves on beets, beans, carrots, corn, and seedlings of every vegetable
- Cure them: Put down short lengths of cut-up garden hose at night, between your rows in your greenhouse; in the morning, empty the traps into soapy water to kill the earwigs; better: contact a reliable, local pest management company
Whitworth Pest Solutions helps gardeners of the Pacific Northwest keep their crops healthy, even in winter. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.