Garden Pests: Four Important Warning Signs

As a self-respecting gardener, you know all about the warning signs that prove garden pests have moved into your lawn, plants, and flowers, or vegetable patch. From slimy trails on the ground to food with bite marks on them (yes, this happens!), you are always on the lookout for bugs that may ruin your outdoor haven.

However, some symbols may surprise you. Some are too little to notice, others appear to be caused by natural occurrences, and there are those that are downright unfeasible. Usually, they highlight that you have garden pests that have taken up residence in your gardens, which is why it is vital to keep up to date.

Here are four signs that you may have garden pests and what you can do about them as well.

Caterpillar on the stem of a plant in the garden

Wilted Leaves

Leaves wilt all the time, which is why this can be surprising to gardeners. You probably assume that the plant is not healthy for a number of reasons, from poor drainage to a lack of sunlight, water, or nutrients in the soil. And, although these may be the factors behind the leaves losing their stiffness, there is another cause – aphids.

An aphid is a tiny bug that blends into the background thanks to its camouflage-like properties, yet it packs a heck of a punch as it sucks the goodness out of the leaves. Therefore, you may need to inspect the plants and remove the insects by hand or use water.

In my e-book, Gardening Hacks, Recipes, and Tips there are many solutions, (all natural) for solving problems like aphids on your plants. You can check out that e-book on my Shop Page.

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Sawdust is a mystery to many gardeners. How did it get there? You did not put it there so it must be organic, or maybe it is the neighbors who are landscaping. The last culprit you imagine it can be is an insect as you can not think of any that produce sawdust. However, there is one.

Ants are industrious creatures that create dust as they work. So, if the brown stuff is at the base of a plant, it’s a surefire sign that ants are in the vicinity. If you can find the nest, you can pour boiling water over it. Boiled water is the simplest and surefire way to rid those ants permanently.

Ants on a plant stem


A hole in the ground near your gardens may make you think the suspect is a different animal. It is easy to say that moles are the problem since they love to dig and will pop-up unannounced, and they could be, but you may have armadillos too.

This source points out that armadillos are everywhere, particularly in hot parts of the country, and love to dig to find food. They will also destroy fruit and vegetable patches. If you do not want to trap them in a cage, you should consider erecting a fence that is buried around one to two feet deep.

Holes can also be signs of other pests too. Larger holes may mean small foxes and small, tiny holes may mean snakes or frogs. Frogs and snakes are harmless usually as they eat other pests. A small fox though may be an issue requiring you to call for wildlife removal.

2 snake holes in the ground

Bird Feeder Damage

We all love feeding the wild birds on our homestead by installing bird feeders for our feathered friends, especially in the colder months. However, while we are providing great feed and treats for the wild birds, we also attract raccoons and possums too.

Typically, raccoons to possums will climb trees and attack the mesh surrounding the food. A natural method for ridding your feeders from these pests is to let your pet (if you have a cat or a dog) patrol the area and leave its scent to scare off unwanted visitors.

Squirrels are another of the garden pests you may have to battle. These little critters are a bit more tricky. Squirrels can come from the ground up or from tree branches and fences to your feeders.

The best way to stop squirrels is to place a pole by itself in your yard that is not directly under tree branches or too close to a fence. You can add some grease or oil of some sort to the pole the feeder is on to keep them from being able to climb up it.

Garden pests can reak havoc on your gardens. Use these simple and easy tips and suggestions to rid your homestead once and for all.

Final Thoughts on Garden Pests

Garden pests come in many sizes and dealing with and eliminating can be a daunting task. Identify the types of garden pests you have first, then try to eliminate them as easily and naturally as possible with the above suggestions.

Have you battled garden pests on your homestead? Do you have any tips or suggestions you can share? Please share them in the comments box below!


  1. Hey, Annie, my cousin has a hibiscus plant that the leaves turn black on the bottom then holes appear on them. She’s tried everything from dish soap to seven dust. She’s desperate to stop the black-holey leaves. What can she try next year to get flowers?

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