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Controlling Pests in Your Ornamental Plants

Japanese Beetle Pest

Ohio’s exquisite landscape is home to a diverse array of ornamental plants that enhance the beauty of gardens, parks, and public spaces. However, these stunning landscapes are not immune to unwanted visitors. Pests, in various forms, can wreak havoc on ornamental plants, leading to aesthetic and economic losses. In this article, we will explore some of the most common ornamental pests encountered in Ohio’s landscape ornamentals, understanding their characteristics, potential damage, and effective professional solutions for control.

Our mission is to equip you with the knowledge and tools necessary to reclaim control over your garden. Join us as we explore a variety of safe and effective pest control measures, ensuring that you can preserve the beauty of your ornamental landscape without harming the environment.

So What Are Common Landscape Pests?

Let’s dive into some main garden pests that harm your garden, and find out how to take care of them before they affect your landscaping.


Aphids, those notorious sap-suckers, can rapidly multiply and cause significant damage to plants. Their feeding can result in distorted growth and the secretion of honeydew, leading to the growth of sooty mold. Professional solutions for aphid control include regular monitoring, insecticidal treatments, and the introduction of natural predators like ladybugs or lacewings (which can fight the aphids without you doing much!).

Japanese Beetles

Japanese beetles are a menace to Ohio’s landscape, as they feed on flowers, foliage, and fruits, causing skeletonized leaves and damaged blossoms. Professional approaches to Japanese beetle management include targeted insecticide applications, such as pyrethroids, carbaryl, or neem-based products. Timing is crucial, as treatments should be applied when adult beetles are most active (this is usually throughout late June and July) .

Japanese Beetle, Ornamental pests

Emerald Ash Borer

The emerald ash borer poses a significant threat to ash trees in Ohio, both in natural forests and landscape settings. Professional intervention is crucial to protect valuable ash trees. Trunk injections with specialized insecticides, such as emamectin benzoate, offer long-lasting protection against these invasive pests. Regular monitoring and early detection are essential for effective management.

Spider Mites

Spider mites, those tiny arachnids, can cause substantial damage, particularly in hot and dry conditions (or the middle of summer). Professional strategies for spider mite control involve monitoring moisture levels, implementing irrigation practices to maintain adequate humidity, and applying targeted miticides when necessary. Integrated pest management (IPM) techniques, including the use of beneficial insects like predatory mites, can also help keep spider mite populations in check.

Deer Munching

Deer can wreak havoc on landscape ornamentals, feeding on young shoots, buds, and flowers. To protect plants from these large, graceful yet destructive garden pests, professional solutions include the installation of physical barriers like sturdy fencing or deer-resistant plant selection. Repellents with ingredients like thiram or predator urine can also deter deer from browsing-and eating-your plants. Depending on how rural your yard is, deer may be easier to deal with (so just keep that in mind).


Bagworms, those crafty pests that construct spindle-shaped bags, primarily infest evergreen trees and shrubs, causing severe defoliation if left unchecked. They are the sneaky garden pests ninjas of your backyard. Professional control measures for bagworms include physical removal of bags by pruning affected branches or the application of targeted insecticides during the larval stage. Timing is critical, as treatments should be applied before bagworms seal themselves within their protective casings. Once they do, you will fight an uphill battle!

Preventing Ornamental Pest Damage in Landscapes

Effectively managing common pests in Ohio’s landscape ornamentals requires professional expertise and tailored solutions. By implementing a proactive approach that includes regular monitoring, targeted insecticide applications, and the use of biological controls, professionals can preserve the beauty of Ohio’s landscapes while minimizing the impact of pests.

Remember, timely intervention and professional solutions are key to maintaining thriving and pest-free ornamental plantings throughout the state. Let’s unleash the magic of your ornamental landscape while keeping the intruders at bay!

Aphids, Ornamental Pests ornamental pests

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