How-To Video: Getting Rid of California's Garden Pests

California's top three pests are Snails, Aphids and Spider Mites.  Here are tips to help get rid of them and keep them out.

Gardening is one art where things can change.  Bad bugs can cause detracting damage even in expert gardener’s yard. Controlling pests is easy, once you know what they are.  Not sure? Put a sample in a baggie and bring it in to Armstrong. Our experts can help you identify.

Most common garden pests?

    • 1. Snails
    • 2. Aphids
    • 3. Spider Mites


Organic or not?

Organics are now very effective. Chemicals less harmful.


1. Snails

    • Prevention is key – put out bait before they damage your plants
    • Snails love soft, new growth, damp areas. That’s why they’re found mostly in shady areas
    • Hide during day, feed at night. New seedling completely missing ovenight? Bet it’s a snail! (Or slug.)
    • Sluggo is organic—safe for kids, pets and wildlife
    • Made of 100% natural iron phosphate
    • Simply scatter around your plants—even veggies
    • Snails and slugs feed on it, then return home to die


2. Aphids

    • Mostly a problem in the spring—they love tender new growth
    • Soft, oval insects about the size of a match head
    • Can be black, white, pink but usually pale green
    • Usually found in clusters along stems
    • They suck out plant juices and spread diseases
    • Organic control? Lots of choices:
      • Lady bugs and praying mantises – sold at Armstrong
      • Horticultural oils/sprays
    • Chemical controls


3. Spider Mites

    • Hard to see! These spider relatives look like flecks of red, yellow or green
    • Damages leaves have smell yellow dots or a tan or bronze cast
    • Can kill a plant
    • To check if you have mites
      •  Take piece of white paper
      •  Hold under leaf and tap it or shake it
      • Mites will fall on paper and look like pepper—and move
    • Prevention
      • Keep plants well-watered
      • Hose off dust—dust creates a nice home for mites
    • Control
      • Neem oil
      • Insecticidal soap