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Garden Insect Photo Identification

praying mantis
The gardener's friend:
the praying mantis.

Evidence of yellowing leaves? Or foliage that seems to have been feasted upon by a well-armed bug battalion?

It could be your garden has been invaded by common insects that feel right at home among your houseplants, garden flowers or backyard vegetable patch.

Of course, not all garden bugs are bad. Species that can be beneficial -- such as the praying mantis or lady bug -- are often used by organic gardeners to keep aphids and other pests at bay without the use of harmful chemical and insecticides.

Plants or flowers that attract predatory insects to the home garden may also include marigolds, sunflowers, zinnias and lavender as well as parsley, fennel, and dill.

Just up ahead, learn more about what may be bugging your garden with photo IDs of some of the most pesky garden pests - including whitefly, aphids and spider mites - plus top related Web resources on how and where to get the bugs out of your greenhouse or garden:

Aphids - winged and wingless - are commonly found growing in colonies underneath leaves of many types of trees, fruits & vegetables.
Mealybugs - best known for leaving evidence of waxy residue, mealybugs suck the sap of some houseplants, ferns, cacti, gardenia, and more often citrus trees.
Thrips - common garden pest with evidence of sucking and scratching at leaves of many garden vegetables and flowers, especially roses and gladioli.
tomato hornworm
Tomato Hornworm - destructive pests and voracious feeders that consume whole the leaves of tomato, pepper, eggplant and tobacco plants.
Leafhoppers - triangular in shape and about 1/4 inch long, leafhoppers feed on leaves of many flowers and vegetables in the home garden.
Whitefly - common pest in gardens and greenhouses that thrive on the underside of leaves, most noted for flying off in a "cloud of white" when disturbed.
mexican bean beetle
Mexican Bean Beetle - most notable evidence is the "skeleton" appearance of greens as they feast upon the foliage and leave only the veins behind.
spider mites
Spider Mites - often evidenced by delicate spider webs around stems and leaves as it sucks the juice of many houseplants, flowers and vegetables.
squash bug
Squash Bugs - most often dining upon squash, cucumbers, and pumpkins, while posing a double threat with a poison that results in severe leaf wilt.
Earwigs - a light feeder resulting in small holes on delicate leaves and flowers, but otherwise a beneficial predator of aphids, slugs and other garden pests.
japanese beetle
Japanese Beetle - feeds upon roses, shrubs and trees, consuming soft tissues between veins and leaving a lace-like skeleton. (See Mexican Bean Beetle.)
cucumber beetle
Cucumber Beetle - a common pest of cucumbers, squash, pumpkins, and melon leaves and fruit, they will also consume beans, corn, peanuts, and potatoes.

More about garden bug identification around the Web:


Bugfiles - Identifying Bugs & Insects with Pictures - Dave's Garden - Extensive photo library searchable by name or species, or browseable in an alphabetical list.

North American Insects and Spiders - Tree Encyclopedia - Excellent online photo library with hi-res photos and helpful information on the habits and natural history of bees, wasps, ants, beetles, flies, spiders, grasshoppers, moths, butterflies and more.

Garden Pest Identification Websites - Check out this guide featuring a mini-directory of top resources offering photos and information on a variety of common garden insect pests.

also see -> Home Recipes to Get Rid of Bugs & Garden Pests

How to Get Rid of Ants

Also see specific vegetable garden bugs, pests & diseases:

been beetle
Bean Pests
lettuce aphid
Lettuce Pests
Spinach Pests
carrot rust fly
Carrot Pests
pea aphid
Pea Pests
white fly
Tomato Pests
flea beetle
Corn Pests
pepper bugs, pests
Pepper Pests    
cucumber beetle
Cucumber Pests
squash bug
Pumpkin Pests  

also see in House & Home Pest Control

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