Hedgerow Pests

The best course of action to take sometimes isn't clear until you've listed and considered your alternatives. Those hedgerows that you planted for privacy or as a windbreak also serve as home to many animal and insect species. While you may not mind the small animals that call your hedges home there are many pests that can inflict mayhem on your hedgerows and your garden as a whole if you do nothing to control the situation.

Hedges help mark your property boundaries and can be a smart alternative to fences. They can provide shelter to animals and some of those animals will feed on the insects that also call your hedges home. The problem is that some of the animals that inhabit your hedges eat other crops and plants in your garden.

Your hedges also provide a safe spot for insects to ride out the long winter and prepare themselves for fresh assaults on your garden come spring. You are not doing yourself any favors by harboring these kinds of creatures. Come spring you may find yourself with a whole host of insect problems in your garden, because you did nothing to prevent or treat an infestation of insects in your hedges.

Here are a few of the pests to be on the watch for in your hedges.

Wasps

While wasp nests can be found in attics and roof spaces, hedges also offer shelter that they like. They may not endanger the health of your hedges, but they could be harmful to you and your neighbors so you do want to be vigilant and properly remove active nests from your property with the help of an expert. You can try and lure the insects away and deal with them one on one, but you should never take on an entire active nest single-handed. Call in a professional to get rid of an active nest.

Mites

Mites are part of the Arthoropoda phylum and they have eight legs and two body parts. It may be hard to spot an infestation at first because mites are hardly visible to the human eye.

Once the infestation develops, you should be able to see some fine webbing over newer or younger growth on your hedges. You may also notice some yellow mottling on the surface of some leaves and also a change in the texture of your leaves (they will turn thin and papery). You should be more watchful for mites during the hot summer weather.

Once you begin to move beyond basic background information, you begin to realize that there's more to Hedgerow pests than you may have first thought.

Thrips

Thrips feed inside a developing flower bud so they may not pose a huge risk for most of your hedges, but you should be on the lookout for them even so. The damage caused by thrips is often not apparent until the flowers and leaves they have attacked mature and become deformed. Because they are quite mobile, it is hard to control thrips. The adult thrip can fly quite easily from plant to plant.

Aphids

These insects live by sucking the juices out of plant tissue. This can have a detrimental effect on your hedges, to say the least; however, it is easy to control aphids. Simply spray contact spray on the plant and you should be able to rid yourself of these unwanted visitors.

There are other insects that will attack you hedges by biting holes in the leaves. This will leave your hedge looking bad and can also endanger the health of your plants. These insects can be controlled through the use of pesticides, but that should be a last, rather than first resort whenever possible.

While the predatory pests may be a concern for your hedges, you should not forget that there are other predators out there looking to rid you of these unwanted visitors. Many of the small mammals that call your hedges home, especially hedgehogs, feed on these insects, so killing them altogether will mean a reduction in food for these animals. On the whole birds and other small animals should keep your pest problem under control. That is not to say that these small animals might not become pests in their own right.

In general with these pests, you should just be observant. Watch for damage to the stems and leaves, this will be the clearest indication that you have a hedgerow pest problem. If you do spot a major pest infestation starting, then you should resort to solutions like pesticides to deal with an influx of unwanted pests.

Now might be a good time to write down the main points covered above. The act of putting it down on paper will help you remember the most important things about Hedgerow pests.