American Tree Experts

5 Dangerous Pests That Cause Harm To Plants

Read on to learn about dangerous pests that cause harm to plants

Plant diseases and pests are common occurrences in the landscape industry. While only an experienced arborist has the expertise and equipment to control plant diseases, homeowners can upgrade their knowledge to spot pest infestation. This article highlights dangerous pests that can sabotage the health and growth of your plants.

Cut Worms

  • Cutworms are typically gray or black larvae, segmented, and about 1 inch long. They are most active at night and can be found in early vegetable and flower seedlings. Cutworms pose a significant threat to plants as they chew through stems at ground level, and they can completely consume small plants during May and June. Therefore, It is essential to work with professional pest management experts to develop effective strategies to control the problem.


  • Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of plants by piercing the leaves, stems, and flowers with their mouths. They reproduce quickly; a single aphid can produce hundreds of offspring in days. This rapid reproduction can quickly lead to an infestation that can damage or kill plants.

Aphids are a common problem for the landscape, particularly in the warmer months. They can cause stunted growth and yellowing of leaves. In addition, aphids can secrete honeydew which attracts other pests and lead to the growth of sooty mold. To prevent and control aphid infestations, implement proper pest management techniques and constantly monitor plants for signs of aphids.


  • Thrips are small insects that feed on the sap of plants, causing damage to the leaves, buds, and flowers. They are common pests in many landscapes and gardens and can cause significant damage if left unchecked. The damage caused by thrips can vary depending on the severity of the infestation and the type of plant they are feeding on. In some cases, thrips can cause discoloration of leaves, while in others, they can cause the death of flower buds or even entire plants.

If significant damage has been caused, consider more sustainable landscape renovations. This may involve replacing plants particularly susceptible to thrips with more resistant varieties or using alternative landscaping techniques less conducive to thrip infestations. However, if the damage is not substantial, integrated pest management (IPM) programs can effectively control thrips.

Cabbage Worms

  • Cabbage worms feed on cabbage and other brassica family members, such as broccoli and cauliflower. The presence of small holes in cabbage leaves is a telltale sign of cabbageworm feeding. Monitoring plants regularly and removing adult worms is important to control the problem.

Adult cabbage worms are small, white, or yellowish moths that can often be seen flying around cabbage plants in the early morning or late afternoon. In addition to removing adults, it is also essential to look for eggs on the undersides of cabbage leaves. Cabbage worm eggs are small, white, and oval-shaped, usually in clusters of 20-30 eggs.

Spider Mites

  • pests that cause harm to plantsSpider mites are tiny arachnids that cause harm to plants by feeding on their tissues. They are closely related to spiders and ticks and can cluster on the undersides of leaves, causing discoloration and weakening of the plant.

Different types of spider mites can attack various plants both indoors and outdoors. Therefore, early detection and prompt action are key to controlling spider mite infestations and preventing significant plant damage.

If you suspect your plants are infested with pests or need help maintaining a healthy landscape, don’t hesitate to contact American Tree Experts. We provide professional pest management services in Mont Clair, New Jersey, and nearby areas. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our services.

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