You can expect some type of insect pest to attack plants in your garden. That's nature. But not every insect in the garden is the enemy. To control insects in your garden, you need to know what kind of insect you are dealing with, what plants it favors and what time of year to expect it. The first line of defense against garden insect pests is identification. The following online sites provide photos of the most common garden insect pests.
Most also give further information about the insect's habits and cultural, natural and chemical controls.
Identifying Garden Insect Pests
The fact sheets provided by Cooperative Extension Services deal with the latest research on Controlling pests. In recent years Cooperative Extension has put greater emphasis on cultural and natural remedies and they give the gardener insight into avoiding future infestations of garden insect pests.
The commercial sites listed may be selling their own products, but they are also providing a free service to online gardeners by providing the listed photo id sites of garden pests.
When insects try to attack your plants, and they will take a look at some of the Pest ID websites to learn what you're dealing with and whether you need to do something about it.
Cooperative Extension Web Sites and Fact Sheets
- CSU/Denver County Cooperative Extension
Insects and Pests
The insect section includes non-pests, such as honeybees. Some of the fact sheets have insects in their various stages of development and offer cultural, natural and chemical control methods. There is also a nice section on identifying and treating plant disease.
- Cornell Cooperative Extension
Cornell Entomology Insect Diagnostic Lab Fact Sheets
If you'd like to dig deeper or see what the most current research says, this is your site. There's a lot of great information here, but it's not the place to go for a quick answer or a photo id.
- Ohio State Cooperative Extension
Insects and Pests
This is an all inclusive site with fact sheets on structural pests and household insects as well as the critters in our gardens. It's not big on pictures and you'll need to know what pest you're looking for, but Ohio State has wonderfully thorough and easy to follow fact sheets.
- Penn State Home and Garden Pest Problem Solver
An all inclusive site. Click on insect pests if you want to go straight to the listing of insect fact sheets. Good photos and succinct help. The page also contains links to other useful garden pest fact sheets.
- Texas A&M University - Texas Cooperative Extension
Vegetable IPM - Plant Pest Identification Aid http://vegipm.tamu.edu/imageindex.html
Photos are grouped by beneficial, chewing, sucking and soil insects. Just click on the photo and you'll get enough information to know what's happening to your veggies and why and what to do about it. You can also find the fact sheets listed by problem.
Commercial Sites for Garden Insect Pest Identification
- Down Garden Services Garden Creatures
This page is provided by a landscaping firm in Down County, Ireland. it's set up with photo sections of 'Friends' 'Bad Habits' and 'Enemies'. Click on the photo for more information and controls.
- Nature's Control Garden Pest ID
A commercial site selling natural pest control as well as beneficials. They have great pictures and info on symptoms to watch for. Their solutions are generally the beneficial insects they sell.
Don't forget to check in with About Gardening's Gallery of Garden Pests and feel free to send in photos of your own garden pests, to be included.