Important pests of the organic garden

An organic garden is synonymous with biodiversity . In some cases our crops attract useful and beneficial fauna, and in other cases it is attracted by pests that harm plants. There are many useful fauna that are used successfully to combat pests. What pests are we talking about? Today, in Gardenprue, we know them.


One of the bases on which ecology  is based is the contribution and environmental protection, and the use of the resources that nature offers us. With respect to the latter, as we already discussed in the  good and bad associations of crops ,  certain plants act as pest repellants, helping the growth of others. But this is not the objective of this post, if not to know the main insects and mollusks that we can find. We will see the natural treatments.


It is a very common pest in crops. They are choppers-suckers of plant material, damaging our ecological garden. They are located on the underside of the leaf so often if we make a quick pass of our plants we cannot see it. The way to identify it is very easy, and consists of looking on the underside of the leaves and observing white dots, or moving the plant, the whitefly, which can fly, will flutter out. It is usually very common in crucifers, where they cause great damage to crops.


Aphids are also the great suckers of our plants in the organic garden. They form a large community where they attack crops en masse and gregariously. In addition, they also associate with ants in a food-protection exchange. The ants take advantage of the sugary honeydew that the aphids produce and in exchange for this, the ants protect the aphids from predators.


The spider mite is a very small mite (0.5 mm), which tends to take advantage of the plants in our organic garden when the environment is dry. It is an easily identifiable pest because it weaves webs around the crop. We will often see leaves linked by fabrics, or when the pest is widespread, the entire plant surrounded by this fabric. Its mode of action consists of sucking and sucking up all the plant material, so over time, it weakens and faints the plant. Be very careful because they are also located on the underside of the leaves, like the whitefly, so in the beginning, the same we cannot see the red spider easily.


Thrips, of the order Thysanoptera, are small insects a few millimeters in size. They are suckers that are located on the underside of the leaf, feeding on the sap of the plants, slowly weakening them. There are natural treatments and “plants that cure plants”, so if we control thrips it does not have to become a serious problem.


Cabbage caterpillars appear frequently in the organic garden. They are usually common in cruciferous or brassicas, such as cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, etc. The caterpillars feed on the leaves, which in this case do not suck but rather bite them, looking like holes or bitten leaves, leaving only the central nerves.


This pest attacks mainly tubers such as potatoes, but in the absence of them, it passes to other nightshades (aubergines, tomatoes, etc.). The adults lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves, where larvae grow and quickly devour all the leaves.


These herbivorous mollusks feed on the leaves of organic garden crops. They cause holes and bites in the leaves and are easily identifiable because they leave a mucous liquid that, when drying, acquires a shiny appearance. They come out when the weather is wet (when it has rained). If there are many snails in the garden, they can cause serious damage to the plants.

Snail feeding on plant tissue


This small beetle that accompanies us in our garden produces galleries in the roots of our plants. The larva resembles the centipede (cylindrical shape and length between 2 and 5 centimeters). It wreaks havoc on crops like potatoes, where it builds horizontal galleries. If the soil is cool and has humidity, you are more susceptible to receiving this little enemy of the garden.


These small diptera build galleries visible to the human eye on the leaves of the crops. When the damage is great, they cause defoliation on the crops. This pest is very easy to identify and we just have to do a periodic check of the leaves, especially in summer, or when in hot season.

There are many more, but there are the most important ones. If we remove whiteflies, spiders, aphids and caterpillars, we already have a good way in growing our plants.

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