Yard and Garden Insects and Pests

Insects are an important part of our urban landscapes.  They eat plants, prey on other insects, help pollinate flowers, decompose plant matter and even help spread seeds.  What would a garden be without buzzing bees, fluttering butterflies, and rainbows of caterpillars, dragonflies, beetles and bugs?  Of all the insect species, less than 1% are considered pests at any time in their lives.  We invite you to explore the links and pages below:

AntsSap-feeding insectsBeneficial insectsChewing insectsPests of vegetablesPests of lawnsPests of specialty plants


Among the most common outdoor insects, ants have a huge impact on the environment.  The name ants is often associated in our minds with nuisance or stinging, but most ant species are neither dangerous or bothersome.  Click here if you have an ant problem, or want to know more about these important insects.

Sap- and mesophyll-feeding insects

Sap-feeding insects insert slender, needle-like mouthparts into the leaves or stems of plants to feed on the nutrient-bearing vessels inside the plant.  Symptoms of plants attacked by these insects include browning or wilting, or sticky honeydew on leaves and trunks of affected plants. Mesophyll feeders have similar mouthparts to sapfeeders, but do not actually feed on plant sap.  Instead they feed on individual plant cells of leaves and stems.  Mesophyll-feeders do not tend to produce honeydew, but often cause a stippling effect on leaves that robs leaves of their lush green color.

Beneficial insects

Many insects are actually beneficial due to their abilities to keep other, pest, insects under control, or due to their essential services to the environment.  Click here to learn how insects are working for you, if you let them.

Chewing insects

When we think of insect pests we most often think of plants with big holes chewed in the leaves, or trunks or branches.  Such insects all bear chewing mouthparts.  To diagnose insects that are chewing on your plants, click here.

Pests of vegetable gardens

Pests of vegetable gardens are among the most frustrating gardening challenges.  After all, who wants to spend weeks tending a garden to see it chewed to the ground by pests?  Click here for information about pests attacking vegetables, herbs, and other food-producing plants in the home landscape.

Pests of lawns

It’s often difficult to know whether a dead spot in the lawn is due to chewing or sucking insects, or something else entirely.  Click here if your questions have to do with protecting your lawn from pests.

Pests of specialty plants

Growing African violets, roses, or other special plants?  Click here to see if your prized plant is listed.  We might have just the information you need.

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