The jumping worm and the gypsy moth are two pests you need to keep an eye out for -- they're bad news for plants and gardeners.
- The jumping worm is just as creepy as its name implies. Normally, worms are great -- they aerate the soil, after all. But this critter is not under the soil, but on it, munching on organic matter -- the very matter that provide nutrients to growing things. Thus, this Greedy Gus can deprive plants, especially tender young ones, of vital nutrients.
- This is an invasive species from Asia and is spreading rapidly through nursery stock.
- You can stop this pest from spreading by not sharing plants or placing dead leaves at the curb for collecting.
- The gypsy moth is another pest that gardeners need to beware. These tree caterpillars were brought to the U.S. in an attempt to establish a silk industry. Well, that didn't work. So now we're stuck with the voracious little critters.
- They are a threat to maples, oaks and elms. Yes, elms. As if elms didn't have enough trouble with Dutch Elm Disease.
- Shipments of nursery stock have spread this pest.
- They grow through several stages of moulting and feed on leaves in their caterpillar state. Continuing attacks from this pest can weaken a tree and leave it vulnerable to other problems.
- Horticulture spray oil can help control populations.
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