A garden that looks green with dense leafy plants at a glance indicates that everything is fine. But, take a closer look, did you find some bugs in the garden soil?
If so, you should be careful since several bugs are beneficial, whereas some are damaging to your plants.
Well, before the bad one kills your favorite plants, you should immediately identify the presence of bugs in the garden soil and get rid of them as soon as possible.
Remember, the use of pesticides can be effective, but they also have the potential to damage crops.
So, try to get rid of bugs in garden soil naturally to minimize any adverse effects on plants and the environment.
Table of Contents
- Some Bugs Are Immune to Synthetic Pesticides
- Where the Bugs in Soil Come From?
- Bugs That May Live in Your Garden Soil
- Soil Bugs Identifications
- Are Bugs in Garden Soil can Cause Other Diseases to Plants?
- 14 Tips to Get Rid of Bugs in Garden Soil Naturally
- 1. Clean the Garden Regularly
- 2. Keep the Soil Healthy
- 3. Good Watering Routine
- 4. Fertilize the Soil Using Compost
- 5. Planting Cover Plants
- 6. Plant the Corps in New Beds
- 7. Mulch the Garden Before and After Planting
- 8. Get Rid of Dead Shoots
- 9. Pick the Pest-Resistant Seeds
- 10. Natural Predators as Garden Insect Controller
- 11. Sticky Traps
- 12. Spray Horticultural Oil
- 13. Soapy Water Spray
- 14. Use Kitchen Remedies
- Preventing Bad Garden Bugs from Coming Back in Soil
- Last Thought
Some Bugs Are Immune to Synthetic Pesticides
Another reason to prioritize organic materials in eradicating bugs in garden soil is that some pests are resistant to toxic chemicals.
Some of them even came back stronger than before.
Instead of helping you maintain the garden from bugs attack, the use of pesticides will only have a negative impact many times more than its ability to eliminate garden pests.
It has also been recognized by Planet Natural Research Center that synthetic pesticides are no longer the best option in this regard.
The ultimate way to control the growth of bugs in garden soil is to ensure that the soil type matches the character of the crops you want to grow.
Moreover, it is essential to provide proper and regular treatment to maintain soil fertility.
Where the Bugs in Soil Come From?
It is easy. Bugs come from previously infected soil. It is like buying a new plant and immediately cultivating it in the garden.
Otherwise, put your new potted vegetables close to other plants without going through the quarantine process first.
These conditions will allow the bugs to move to other lands and continue to dwell and breed there. Thus, quarantining the plants you just bought is essential so that no bugs can infest your garden soil.
Bugs That May Live in Your Garden Soil
Once mentioned one by one, there are many types of bugs that you can find in your garden. However, the eight below are those that live on the garden soil.
Also, they have the potential to disturb and even damage your favorite plants.
Vine Weevil and Its Grubs
Vine weevil is a black plant pest native to Europe but is still common in North America.
Vine weevil prefers plants in pots or counters instead of attacking plants that grow on the grounds, both outdoor and houseplants.
During the larvae stage, vine weevils will live in garden soil and get their food source from plant roots. While as adults, they start to live and eat the plant’s leaves.
Allowing the presence of vine weevils, especially the grubs on the garden soil, is a fatal mistake that will lead you to have unhealthy vegetable plants.
Fungus or Soil Gnats
Fungus gnats are tiny-flying bugs that are usually black in the body and live in the soil. The adult ones will lay their eggs on the ground until they hatch during the breeding season.
When the newly hatched become larvae, they will eat plant roots and take many nutrients from the surrounding soil material.
You can easily find this pest crawling around the plants’ stem, soil first layer, and outside the pots.
Soil mites are microscopic insects that you can only see using a microscope. Generally, their body ranges from 1-2 mm only.
Furthermore, these mites live in the soil, and not all types interfere with plant growth.
Some beneficial mites will help recycle the nutrients contained in the soil. Meanwhile, those who are evil will damage your plants.
That is why you should get rid of these bugs as soon as possible.
In some cases, soil mites will carry eggs of tapeworms, bacteria, and parasites that are also harmful to humans.
Although there is no moment when you will eat the mites directly, there is a possibility that these micro insects will enter your nails when you are gardening without using gloves.
It will get worse when you decide to go to lunch without washing your hands first.
Read also related article about how to get rid of spider mites
Soft scales are white-waxy bugs that commonly eat sap juice on plants.
Although they generally live in the soil, you can also sometimes find them in the leaves and branches of trees.
Just like soft scales, you can also find mealybugs in garden soil. They are also covered with the waxy-cottony thing they call “wooly.”
Mealybugs are pests that feed on the leaves and stems. Besides, they like to suck the plant’s living juice on the newly grown plants.
Generally, aphids will live on the underside of the leaves and survive by gnawing the plant parts to tatters.
On the other hand, gray-white aphids spend more of their time in soil and damage your plants from the roots.
Different from the previous six pests, springtails are soil bugs that are quite beneficial. They are silver or gray-bodied insects that often roam the soil of potted plants.
Springtails are not harmful to plant growth, but their uncontrolled presence can be very annoying. Therefore, you have to get rid of it too.
Isopods are not insects. They are a type of crayfish with bodies larger than springtails. These bugs are sometimes brown, silver, or gray.
Additionally, some refer to them as pill bugs. When you touch them, isopods roll up their bodies like tiny armadillos.
Just like springtails, isopods also do not harm plants. However, if you are bothered by their presence, getting rid of them is the best way you can take.
Soil Bugs Identifications
The following are two signs to identify the presence of garden pests in soil.
- Soil that smells bad. Usually, this condition comes from decomposing plants caused by pests in the soil.
Check if there are earthworms around the area. If so, leave them there to eliminate the pests before they end up destroying crops in a massive scope.
- Your soil looks over moist and does not absorb water well. It is the second sign that you need to be aware that there have been bugs in garden soil for some time.
Root-eating insects such as aphids and mealybugs may be the leading cause of this condition.
The pests eat away at the roots and take nutrients from there, making the roots weak and unable to hold water.
When the soil has become very moist, the chances of bugs living and breeding are greater.
Are Bugs in Garden Soil can Cause Other Diseases to Plants?
Absolutely, yes. Bugs in the soil will continue to attach to the plants from which they obtain food and nutrients.
Even until the plant grows and replicates, the bugs stay with them until they eventually multiply and spread over a larger area.
The existence of nasty bugs that keep stealing plants’ living juice will weaken the crops and not resistant to other diseases.
14 Tips to Get Rid of Bugs in Garden Soil Naturally
Getting rid of harmful insects to plants can come in many ways. The two ultimate procedures that growers often choose are using chemicals and organic methods.
However, the use of toxic chemicals to get rid of bugs in garden soil is no longer used, along with the many harmful effects they leave behind.
Some of them affect soil fertility, are harmful to plants and pets, and are even worse for humans when ingested.
Therefore, we only compile natural methods here. Those are pretty easy to do as well as environmentally friendly.
Read also: Get Rid Of Boxelder Bugs Naturally
1. Clean the Garden Regularly
Clean your garden regularly. Getting rid of fallen leaves and dried flowers as soon as possible minimizes the chance that insects will infest the garden soil.
Please do not wait for the debris to accumulate until it emits an unpleasant odor because it means that there are already bugs living in it.
2. Keep the Soil Healthy
Cleaning the garden soil does not necessarily keep it away from these bugs. Now and then, you need to maintain the fertility level of the ground too.
Here are the most important steps to maintaining the fertility of garden soil:
3. Good Watering Routine
Watering plants regularly is not only helpful in refreshing the leaves. More than that, this strategy can keep the soil in your garden far from barren.
One thing to consider is to water your plants only in the morning. This routine will help your plants grow well and keep the leaves cool in the hot midday sun.
Avoid watering in the afternoon and evening because it will make the leaves stay damp at night even though the temperature has cooled.
Even worse, it will lead to over-hydrating soil, which causes fungal infection.
4. Fertilize the Soil Using Compost
The provision of compost has a crucial contribution to fertilizing the soil.
Make sure to do this every spring or planting season. The presence of microorganisms in compost will help reduce the infestation of bugs in your garden.
5. Planting Cover Plants
Growing clover, ryegrass, and peas in your garden can improve soil fertility and structure. These cover crops may also prevent growing weeds and minimize winter soil erosion.
6. Plant the Corps in New Beds
Planting crops repeatedly on the same beds will hinder harvesting. It is because the pest population on the same soil will constantly increase, affecting the performance of plants to grow healthy.
Hence, crop rotation is highly recommended. New beds for vegetable plants will prevent bugs attack in the garden.
7. Mulch the Garden Before and After Planting
It is essential to cover your garden using black plastic for six months before replanting. This way will help you to kill any pests, including bugs up to the eggs.
Also, once the planting season has started and your plants are four inches tall, you can mulch the garden using two inches of mowed grass or clipped leaves.
It reduces weeds that invite the bugs to come, maintains soil temperature, and prevents excessive water evaporation.
8. Get Rid of Dead Shoots
Forcing to keep growing unhealthy seeds can also invite bugs to infect other plants. For that, immediately get rid of these sickly seeds.
Then plant the best sources at a proper distance from each other to let good mineral absorption and provide balanced air circulation.
9. Pick the Pest-Resistant Seeds
Several agricultural inventions have succeeded in creating seeds that are resistant to pests and nasty bugs. Choosing this type of seed will reduce your energy to fight plant pests in garden soil.
10. Natural Predators as Garden Insect Controller
Inviting natural predators is a safe way to eradicate nasty bugs in your garden soil. Some insects that may play a good role in this elimination are praying mantis, ladybugs, spiders, and parasitic wasps.
Earthworms may also help reduce bug infestations in the soil by increasing the fertility of the land itself.
11. Sticky Traps
Sticky traps never fail in eradicating any pests in your garden, be it whiteflies or bugs.
Not only on the soil, but this object is also very helpful in eradicating pests feeding on the leaves and stems.
So, do not hesitate to put sticky traps around your crops. It will not negatively impact the growth of vegetable plants, though.
12. Spray Horticultural Oil
You can use Horticultural oil or Neem Oil to eliminate and kill bugs in your garden. Since this concentrate is made of repellent plants, it will not interfere with the growth of crops.
Use it for an extended period, though.
To eradicate bugs in the soil, mix this horticultural oil with water and then put it in a spray bottle. After that, spray it on the areas most infested by pests.
13. Soapy Water Spray
Soapy water can be an alternative when you do not have horticultural oil. Avoid using detergents and prioritize utilizing dish soap to make this spray.
One recipe you might be able to follow is to mix five tablespoons of dish soap with one gallon of water. Horticultural oil and soapy water can eliminate beneficial and harmful insects in garden soil.
14. Use Kitchen Remedies
You can also use some kitchen remedies to eradicate harmful bugs in your garden. Some of them are garlic spray, apple cider vinegar, ginger, and hot pepper spray.
Preventing Bad Garden Bugs from Coming Back in Soil
When there are steps to eradicating, there is also a strategy to prevent bugs from filling your garden soil. Here are three steps you can follow:
- Grow the bugs repellent near the crops, such as Chrysanthemums, Onions, Chives, Dill, Fennels, Nasturtiums, Petunias, and Marigolds.
- Build barriers around the garden plants. You can use floating row covers, nests, or paper collars to protect the plants from bugs during the planting season.
- Monitoring the garden daily is crucial to identifying the presence of pests in the garden soil. Pay attention to changes that may occur in the leaves, stems, and the condition of your crops’ roots.
Sometimes people misinterpret insects and bugs. Several argue that the word “insect” is used formally, while “bug” is the informal version.
Yet, those two terms are different. Simply put, you can say it is an insect because they have a segmented body, six legs, and antennae.
While bugs, apart from having a segmented body and antennae, they also have wings and a stylet -a straw-shaped mouth that is useful for sucking the plant’s juice.
All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs.
That is all about getting rid of bugs in garden soil naturally. If the pesky bugs still come, you have to consult an expert for your green as soon as possible. So, never give up on having a pest-free garden!