Gardening Tips: How To Get Rid of 4 Common Pests

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Each spring, little families of aphids like to try snacking on the rose bush in my backyard. Even now that I have more experience maintaining my humble garden, it still can present the occasional bugger conundrum. (Googling beetle varieties really is not fun.)

Rather than immediately grossing you out with pictures of creepers (you'll get to see them if you click through some of the links!), I've created this list of some common garden pests, along with instructions for how to deal with them.

Aphids: These jerks like to suck the juice out of your plants, will reproduce very quickly, and, in some instances, carry crop-damaging viruses. At home, Organic Gardening suggests a strong hosing with water or homemade garlicky pepper sprays.

Cutworms: The term encompasses the larvae of many species of adult moths. The Old Farmer's Almanac tells you how to identify them and suggests eradicating them with physical barriers, crushed eggshells, diatomaceous earth, and coffee grounds.

Japanese beetles: The grubs eat roots, and iridescent adults eat leaves. The USDA has a whole guide for managing them. If you have a large space, try sticky pheromone traps to draw them away from plants. (If it's a small area, a trap can just worsen your problem by drawing more of the pests close to your plants.)

Slugs and snails: They like seedlings and succulent leaves, and you'll know them by their trail of slime. To get rid of them, UC Davis suggests eliminating places where they can hide out during the day. You can complement this tactic with baits such as beer traps — sounds enticing, right?

(Image credits: Loree Bohl)

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