Whether you prefer to grow beautiful flowers and trees or a selection of your family’s favorite fruits and veggies, it takes a lot of time and effort to manage a garden. The last thing you want is a horde of these insects literally eating away at all of your hard work.

1. Beetles

Japanese beetles on a skeletonized leafAlthough some beetle species are helpful to have in a garden, most mean trouble for plants.

Beetles thoroughly enjoy munching on leaves and other plant parts, and they’re not picky eaters—the more types of plants in your garden, the more variety in their buffet.

Japanese beetles, in particular, are one of the most damaging insects to plants. Adult Japanese beetles are pretty easy to spot, as they’re metallic copper and bright green, but the best indicator that they’re living in your garden is skeletonized leaves.

2. Slugs

red slug on groundThere are several species of slugs, four of which are considered a threat to plants. Slugs have a taste for a wide variety of plants, especially those that produce fruits and vegetables, and their appetite extends to the root systems as well as the leaves.

Slugs alone are enough to destroy an entire garden.

These pests can quickly eat enough of a plant’s leaves and roots to prevent the plant from photosynthesizing, essentially eating the plant faster than it is capable of growing.

3. Caterpillars

caterpiller on pink flowersWhile butterflies are beneficial to a garden, the caterpillars that eventually turn into them are not. Caterpillars dine on leaves, flowers, fruit, and vegetables, so a garden is their version of a five-star restaurant.

The good news is that your garden is unlikely to retain too many caterpillar patrons due to their susceptibility to disease and the wide variety of animals that enjoy them as an appetizer. However, even just a few of these transformative insects can cause extensive damage.

4. Weevils

closeup of a beetle walnut weevil on a leafUnlike most pests, weevils are detrimental to plants year-round. In the spring and summer, mature weevils eat plant leaves, and their larvae devour the roots and the stem when the weather gets cooler.

5. Spider Mites

spider mites in webbing on a tree branchSpider mites are your garden-variety vampires—they suck the chlorophyll out of a plant’s leaves. At a minimum, this will discolor the leaves. Plants rely on chlorophyll to convert sunlight into energy, so losing enough of it can weaken, or even kill, a plant.

6. Aphids

yellow aphids on the underside of a leafAphids have feeding habits similar to those of spider mites, except aphids suck the sap out of a plant. Because they feed by piercing the leaves, aphids often pick up viruses and transmit them to previously healthy plants.

They also secrete honeydew, a sweet, sticky substance that attracts ants and grows a black, sooty mold that can prevent sunlight from reaching the chlorophyll in a plant’s leaves.


Not all creepy-crawlies are garden pests, and the last thing you want to do is evict the ones that are helping your plants out. If you need help determining whether a bug is hurting or helping your greenery, call a local Best Pick pest control company.