|I started gardening last year, and the pansies I planted got some tiny, soft bodied brown bugs on the undersides of the leaves. Were they aphids? Being a beginner, I did not know what to do, and after trying various non-pesticidal measures the pansies died. What should I have done, and what can I do this year?|
|They were most likely aphids. In general, soft-bodied pest insects can safely be zapped with insecticidal soap (available at garden centers and greenhouses). Some gardeners like to leave a few pests in the garden to encourage their natural predators to take up residence, and keep a natural balance. If you have a severe infestation, though, pull out the spray bottle of soap!
If you want to learn more about plant pests and diseases, visit our Pest Control Library. Best of luck!