American Tree Experts

Top 5 Most Dangerous Disease-Causing Plant Pests

Tree Experts in New Jersey reveal the 5 most dangerous disease-causing plant pests

Gardening is a fun and productive hobby. It not only brings you closer to nature but also gives you fresh, home-grown fruits and vegetables. Disease-causing plant pests are the biggest threat to your garden. They not only destroy the product but can also cause several diseases to the plants. To save your garden from a pest attack, it is important to take precautionary measures and remain on the outlook of telltale signs of a pest infestation and the diseases caused by them.

To do so, educate yourself about the most dangerous disease-causing pests and how to identify them.


Top of the list is aphids. They are small pear-shaped insects. They have long antennae on the front and two tubes on the rear side that come out from their abdomen. Aphids attack fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, flowers, and shade trees in North America. They damage the plants in the following ways:

  • Alphids suck the plant sap that damages the leaves and foliage of the plant.
  • They excrete honeydew on leaves that promotes the growth of sooty mold. This accelerates the spread of viral diseases.

If you fear an aphid infestation has taken place, do the following:

  • Wash plants with high-pressure water
  • Introduce predators of aphids such as lacewings, lady beetles, and aphid midges to the plant.
  • Spray the plant with hot pepper or garlic sprays.

Cabbage Maggots

These parasites infest crops that belong to the cabbage family, such as Chinese cabbages that are grown in North America. The maggots are found in the roots, and they destroy the plant by eating it away. Cabbage Maggots also create passages for disease organisms. To deal with their infestation, do the following:

  • Apply floating row covers over the plants
  • Leave certain parasitic nematodes around the roots of the plant. They feed on Cabbage Maggots.
  • Burn the roots of an infected plant to prevent the further spread of the parasites.
  • Place wood ashes or red pepper dust around the stems.


Caterpillars are the larvae of butterflies. They destroy the leaves and fruits by chewing on them. Their distinctive features are a harder head capsule, six legs in the front, and false legs on the end. Caterpillars thrive on fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and shade trees. To control their infestation on your plants, do the following:

Colorado Potato Beetle

disease-causing plant pestsThese beetles attack several vegetables including potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, petunias, and cherry tomatoes that are grown in North America. Colorado Beetles have distinct yellow-orange bodies that are decorated with ten black stripes on wing covers. These beetles defoliate plants and kill the young plants. They also reduce the harvest of plants. To deter these pests:

  • Apply floating row covers
  • Introduce native parasites
  • Spray the plants with neem oil

Mexican Bean Beetle

These beetles feed on cowpeas, snap beans, soybeans, and lima beans. Mexican Bean Beetle is commonly found in Arizona, Texas, Utah, and Nebraska. They are a quarter an inch long, oval in shape, have yellow-brown bodies, and their wing covers are decorated with 16 black spots. Mexican Beetles chew on the leaves of plants from underneath and leave a lacy appearance behind. To deter their growth:

  • Apply floating row covers
  • Handpick the produce
  • Spray the plant with neem oil or insecticidal soap
  • Plant soybean nearby that acts as a trap crop

These home remedies for controlling pests have their limits. If a serious pest infestation has taken place then contact American Tree Experts. They provide professional pest management services in Mont Clair, New Jersey, and nearby areas.

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