Aphids are the most common pest problem in Santa Fe and all over New Mexico. Aphids are small insects that suck the sap out of plants. They attack a wide range of trees, shrubs, flowers and house plants. Aphids come all sorts of colors from green to red, dark brown to almost black. They are easy to control, however if left unattended they can reach epidemic levels almost over night. A pet friendly and organic way to rid your plants of these awful pests is with Safer End All. A faster control for your roses and other flowers is with Bonide Rose Shield.
Mealybugs usually attack houseplants, especially different types of succulents. Mealy bugs are small, less than ¼-inch white wingless insects that are often covered in a white cottony or waxy substance. Often mealybugs can kill plants if left uncontrolled. They can be difficult to completely eliminate and a systemic may be necessary.
Spider Mites are not insects but members of the mite family, tetranychidae. They are very small, often less than 1 mm and come in a varying colors. Outbreaks often start on the underside of leaves and then move to the upper sides. If left uncontrolled, they quickly spread and can cover an entire plant, sometimes killing their host. Spider mites are difficult to control and some insecticides have no effect on them. For an organic pet friendly control, use Neem Oil once every two weeks until there is no sign. For worst case scenarios, use Bonide Rose Shield biweekly and apply three times.
Grasshoppers are one of the most destructive garden pests in New Mexico. They are also one of the hardest to effectively control. One of the problems is that, as you kill the grasshoppers in an area, they move in from surrounding areas. The most effective way to control these pests is by treating them for several years and also encouraging neighbors to do the same. For the long term, Nolo bait, also pet friendly and organic, is very effective. However, you do not see results immediately. For a quick knock down, you can spray with Bayer Vegetable and Flower Insect Spray.
Tent caterpillars are the larvae of small tan moth, usually less than one half an inch. The caterpillars build a silk tent in the branches and nodes of trees. Usually first towards the center or inner part of the tree and it will grow out from there. Tent caterpillars most occur in the late spring and early summer. To control these pests you can spray the nests with organic spinosad.
Fall webworms are the larvae of a small white moth that lay eggs on host trees in clusters of 100 or more eggs during the late summer or early fall. The eggs hatch and caterpillars begin building silken nest that cover small branches and leaves. The nests grow at an alarming rate over a period of about six to eight weeks. Nests can often grow to sizes where they cover most of a tree. The catepillars range in color and are usually hairy. They attack a wide range of trees including; aspen, cottonwoods, maples, elms, and mulberries. These pests are easiest controlled when the nests are still small. Spray with an insecticide containing organic spinosad or permethrin.