The Q&A Archives: How to rid garden of insects?

Question: Hello,
I have a few tomato and pepper plants growing along with some flowers. I notice there are a ton of ants eating away at my vegtables! How can I get rid of these pests, safely?
Thank you,

Answer: Based on your description I am not certain what is happening to your plants. Ants do not harm plants, but they can be present if attracted by aphids. Aphids suck plant juices and tend to congregate at the soft, tender, new growing tips of each stem or branch. Aphids can be knocked down with a spray of water from the hose, they can be treated with commercially formulated insecticidal soap, or you can hope that ladybugs appear naturally to control the aphids.

In the meantime, if something is eating the foliage or the fruits then you would need to try to identify what that is and then act accordingly. You might find that Japanese beetles, for example, are damaging the foliage. These can sometimes be repelled with a spray containing neem. But, you really need to identify the cause of the damage before you treat with anything. Also be sure to read and carefully follow all of the label directions on any product you use.

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