Protecting Your Outdoor Plants: Tips for Keeping Bugs at Bay

Identifying Common Outdoor Plant Pests

Common Outdoor Plant Pests

One of the biggest challenges in outdoor gardening is dealing with pests. It’s important to regularly check your plants, so you can identify and address any issues before they become a major problem. Here are some of the most common outdoor plant pests:



Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects that are usually green or brown. They feed on plant sap and can quickly reproduce, resulting in a large infestation. Signs of an aphid infestation include yellow or curled leaves, honeydew (a sticky substance produced by aphids), and black sooty mold (a fungus that grows on honeydew).

To get rid of aphids, you can spray your plants with a mixture of water and dish soap. Another method is to introduce ladybugs, lacewings, or other natural predators to your garden.

Spider Mites

Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny red or brown insects that are not actually spiders, but they do produce webs. They feed on the sap of leaves and can cause yellowing, stunted growth, and early leaf drop. Spider mites are more common in hot, dry weather.

To get rid of spider mites, you can spray your plants with a mixture of water and neem oil. You can also try washing your plants with a strong stream of water to knock the mites off.



Caterpillars are the larval form of moths and butterflies. They can cause damage by chewing on leaves, fruits, and flowers. Signs of a caterpillar infestation include holes in leaves, chewed-up fruits, and droppings.

To get rid of caterpillars, you can remove them by hand or spray your plants with a mixture of water and Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), a natural bacteria that kills caterpillars.

Slugs and Snails

Slugs and Snails

Slugs and snails are soft-bodied pests that feed on the leaves and stems of plants. They also leave a slimy trail behind them. Signs of a slug or snail infestation include irregularly shaped holes in leaves, slime trails, and chewed-up seedlings.

To get rid of slugs and snails, you can set up beer traps (a shallow dish filled with beer that attracts and drowns the pests) or sprinkle diatomaceous earth (a natural substance that damages the pests’ bodies).



Whiteflies are tiny, white insects that feed on the sap of plants. They are often found on the underside of leaves. Signs of a whitefly infestation include yellowing leaves, sticky honeydew, and sooty mold.

To get rid of whiteflies, you can introduce natural predators like ladybugs or lacewings to your garden. You can also spray your plants with insecticidal soap or neem oil.



Thrips are tiny, slender insects that are often black or brown. They feed on the sap of plants and can cause distorted growth, silvering of leaves, and browning of petals. They are more common in hot, dry weather.

To get rid of thrips, you can introduce natural predators like minute pirate bugs or lacewings to your garden. You can also spray your plants with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Regularly checking your plants for pests is crucial in keeping them healthy and thriving. By identifying common outdoor plant pests, you can take the necessary steps to protect your garden and enjoy a bountiful harvest.

Natural Methods of Bug Prevention and Control

Insects on Plants

One of the biggest challenges that growers face is keeping their outdoor grow protected from unwanted bugs. These pests can cause severe damage to plants, so it’s important to prevent and control them before they become a problem. There are many different natural methods that can be used to keep bugs away from your outdoor marijuana plants, and we’ll explore some of them in this article.


clean leaves on plants

The first line of defense against bugs is cleanliness. Keeping your grow area clean can go a long way in preventing infestations. This means removing any dead leaves or debris from your plants and soil, and keeping the area free of weeds and other plants that can attract insects. Regularly cleaning your growing containers, tools and equipment can also help to prevent the spread of pests.

Companion Plants

Companion plants

One natural method of bug prevention is the use of companion plants. Companion planting involves growing plants that are known to repel or deter pests. For example, marigolds have a scent that repels many bugs, while garlic is known to deter aphids and spider mites. Other good companion plants include basil, lemon balm, and catnip. These plants can be grown alongside marijuana plants to help keep pests away.

DIY Pest Control

Homemade pest control

If you do find that bugs have infested your plants, there are a few natural methods of pest control that you can try. You can make your own pest control sprays using ingredients like neem oil, garlic, and cayenne pepper. These sprays can be applied directly to the plants and will help to repel or kill bugs. You can also use diatomaceous earth, a natural powder that is made from fossilized diatoms. This powder is safe for humans and animals but deadly to bugs. Simply sprinkle the powder on and around the plants to help keep pests away.

Birds & Beneficial Insects

Beneficial insects

Another natural method of pest control is the use of birds and beneficial insects. Birds like blue tits, robins, and wrens are known to eat many pests that feed on cannabis plants. Ladybugs, lacewings, and praying mantises are all beneficial insects that can help keep bugs away. You can attract these bugs and birds to your garden by providing a habitat for them to thrive, such as planting flowers that they like and adding bird feeders or nesting boxes to your grow area.


Marijuana Plants

Protecting your outdoor grow from bugs may seem like a difficult task, but there are many natural methods that can help. By keeping your grow area clean, using companion plants, making your own pest control sprays, and attracting birds and beneficial insects, you can successfully protect your plants from pests. Remember to keep an eye on your plants and take action if you do notice any unwanted bugs. With a little bit of effort, you can keep your outdoor grow healthy and bug-free.

Chemical Treatments for Bug Infestations

Clorox disinfectant

When it comes to bug infestations in outdoor grows, chemical treatments are often the go-to solution for most growers. If you’ve tried other methods of pest control and they haven’t worked, there are a number of different chemical treatments that you can use to protect your plants.

Before using any chemical treatment, it is critical to read and follow the instructions on the product label carefully. Make sure you know what pests the treatment is designed to target and how often you need to reapply it. Also, be sure to wear gloves and protective clothing to avoid getting the chemical on your skin or in your eyes.

There are many different types of chemical treatments available on the market, but some of the most common ones for outdoor grows include:

  • Insecticides: These are chemicals designed to kill insects. there are a number of different types of insecticides available, including neonicotinoids, pyrethroids, and organophosphates. These treatments can come in the form of sprays, powders, or granules, and should be applied according to the directions on the label.
  • Fungicides: If you have a mold or mildew problem in your outdoor grow, a fungicide may be necessary. These chemicals work by inhibiting the growth of fungi and can be applied as a spray or powder.
  • Miticides: These are chemicals designed to kill mites, which can be a big problem for outdoor growers. Mites are tiny pests that can suck the sap out of your plants, leaving them weak and stunted. Miticides can be applied as a spray or powder.

One of the most common and effective chemical treatments is the use of Clorox disinfectant. Clorox disinfectant is a bleach-based solution that is a powerful disinfectant and can help kill insects and other pests. It is effective in killing bacteria, viruses, mold, and mildew. It can be used to sanitize surfaces and clean gardening tools.

Clorox disinfectant can be used on outdoor grows as an effective way to control insects and pests. It can be mixed with water, according to the instructions on the label, and sprayed directly on the plants. It is important to note that diluting Clorox disinfectant too much will make it less effective.

Another effective chemical treatment for outdoor grows is the use of insecticidal soap. Insecticidal soap is a chemical treatment that is made from potassium salts and fatty acids. This solution kills insects by dissolving their protective exoskeleton.

One of the benefits of insecticidal soap is that it is a contact insecticide, so it won’t harm beneficial insects like bees or ladybugs, which can help pollinate your plants and eat other harmful pests. However, it may harm some beneficial insects that are attracted to honeydew secretions, so it’s important to take that into consideration before using it on your plants.

In conclusion, chemical treatments can be an effective way to protect your outdoor grow from bugs and pests. However, it’s important to use these treatments responsibly and carefully to avoid damaging your plants or harming beneficial insects. Always read the label instructions carefully and wear protective clothing when handling chemicals.

Maintaining Soil and Plant Health to Deter Pests

bugs on plant

The success of an outdoor grow depends on many factors, soil and plant health being one of the most important. It’s crucial to maintain the proper balance of nutrients and pH levels in your soil to promote healthy plant growth and prevent pest infestations. Here are some tips on how to maintain soil and plant health to deter pests:

1. Use Compost

Compost Piles

Compost is an excellent source of organic matter and nutrients that are essential for plant growth. Adding compost to your soil helps to maintain a healthy balance of nutrients and beneficial microorganisms, which can help deter pests. Compost also improves soil texture and water retention, which promotes healthy plant growth.

2. Rotate Crops

Crop Rotation

Rotating crops helps to prevent soil-borne pests and diseases from building up in the soil. When you plant the same crop in the same location every year, it can attract pests that specialize in that particular plant. By rotating crops, you break the pest cycle and reduce the likelihood of pests becoming established in your garden.

3. Mulch Your Soil


Mulching your soil helps to maintain moisture levels, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature. It also provides a habitat for beneficial insects and microorganisms that can help keep pests in check. Organic mulches such as straw, hay, or leaves can break down over time, adding organic matter and nutrients to your soil.

4. Attract Beneficial Insects

Beneficial Insects

One of the best ways to control pests in your garden is to attract beneficial insects that feed on pests. Ladybugs, lacewings, and praying mantises are examples of beneficial insects that can help keep pest populations in check. You can attract beneficial insects by planting flowers that provide nectar and pollen, such as alyssum, marigolds, and sunflowers.

Another way to attract beneficial insects is to provide habitats for them. For example, you can build a bug hotel or plant a hedge row to provide shelter for beneficial insects. By creating habitats for beneficial insects, you can help maintain a healthy balance of pests and their predators in your garden.


Maintaining soil and plant health is essential for deterring pests in your outdoor grow. By using compost, rotating crops, mulching your soil, and attracting beneficial insects, you can create a healthy ecosystem that keeps pests under control. These methods are not only effective but also eco-friendly and sustainable, promoting overall garden health and growth. Start implementing these tips today and watch your outdoor grow thrive!

How to Monitor Your Plants for Signs of Bug Damage

plants with bug damage

Growing plants outdoors can be a rewarding experience, but it also can pose certain risks as bugs can infest your plants and cause significant damage. Therefore, it’s important to monitor your plants regularly for signs of bug damage. Here are a few tips to help you identify and diagnose plant damage caused by bugs.

1. Watch for Holes in Leaves or Fruits

Holes in leaves plants

One of the most common signs of bug damage is the presence of holes in the leaves or fruits of your plants. If you notice these holes, it’s a good sign that your plants are under attack. Look for the insects that are the most likely culprits, such as caterpillars, beetles, snails, and slugs. Each of these insects has a unique signature that can help you identify them. For instance, snails, slugs, and caterpillars tend to leave a slimy trail behind them.

2. Check for Sticky Residue on Leaves

sticky residue on plants

Another telltale sign of bug damage is the sticky residue on leaves or fruits. This is a sign that aphids, scale insects, or mealybugs have infested your plants. These insects are known for producing a sticky fluid called honeydew, which can cause the black mold to develop on your plant’s surface. You can wash off the sticky residue with a mild soap mixed with water. Be careful not to damage your plants while washing them.

3. Look for Discoloration on Leaves or Stems

discoloration on plants

If you notice that your plant’s leaves or stems are turning yellow or brown, it could be a sign of insect infestation. Different types of insects cause different types of damage. For instance, spider mites, scale insects, and thrips can cause discoloration on leaves or stems. They also tend to suck the sap out of your plants, which causes the leaves to turn yellow or brown. Check under leaves and on the stems for any tiny white or black specks. These could indicate the presence of spider mites or scale insects.

4. Check for Webbing or Silk on Your Plants

webbing on plants

If you see webbing or silk on your plants, it’s likely that spider mites, spider insects, or caterpillars have infested your plants. These insects spin webs to protect themselves and their eggs from predators. You can use a mild insecticidal soap to get rid of caterpillars or spider mites. Be sure to spray thoroughly and get into the crevices between the leaves where insects often hide.

5. Shake or Tap Your Plants to Look for Flying Insects

flying insects on plants

If you suspect your plants are under attack by flying insects like whiteflies, thrips, or fruit flies, shake or tap your plants lightly. This can cause the insects to fly or jump off and expose themselves. Use a yellow sticky trap to monitor the presence of flying insects in your garden. These traps are readily available in gardening shops and are highly effective in trapping flying insects. They work by attracting flying insects with their bright color and stickiness.

In conclusion, monitoring your plants for signs of bug damage is crucial to prevent significant damage to your plants. By taking the time to regularly inspect your plants, you can detect and diagnose insect infestations early. This will help you take appropriate actions, such as pruning infected leaves or using insecticides, to keep your plants healthy and looking good throughout the growing season.