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Most Destructive Garden Insects

Tending to a garden can be a relaxing experience until bugs decide to move in. Unfortunately, there are bugs that like to snack on garden plants. Damage can vary, and some species are more harmful than others. We’ve made a list of the most destructive insects you could find in your garden.


Aphids on flower

These tiny bugs love to take a bite out of your plants.

What Do Aphids Look Like?

Aphids are pear-shaped insects with a soft body. They come in a variety of colors including white, green, and pink. Aphids are about ¼ʺ in length and are typically wingless.

What Damage Do Aphids Cause?

When aphids suck on plant sap, they cause damage to the plant. You may notice leaves dropping or stunted plant growth. Aphids produce sticky honeydew, which can lead to mold growth. They also spread damaging viruses to plants. These pests aren’t picky and will feed on many plants including ornamental, fruit, and vegetable plants.

Stink Bugs

Stink bug on plant

If you’ve ever smashed one of these bugs, you know why they are called stink bugs. These bugs invade both gardens and homes.

What Do Stink Bugs Look Like?

They have a triangular body and grow to about 3/4ʺ. Stink bug adults are greenish-brown, while nymphs are yellow with red eyes.

What Damage Do Stink Bugs Cause?

These bugs suck the sap from plants, causing small holes on plants. These holes are often surrounded by yellow or green markings. When multiple stink bugs infest a garden, they can cause extensive damage to plants. Stink bugs target ornamental, vegetable, and fruit plants.

Tarnished Plant Bugs

 Tarnished Plant Bug

This bug’s name speaks for itself. The tarnished plant bug feeds on plants, resulting in damage.

What Do Tarnished Plant Bugs Look Like?

These bugs are greenish-brown with reddish-brown markings on their wings. They have a yellow and black triangle on their flat, oval body. Nymphs are sometimes mistaken for aphids because of their size and green color. Adult tarnished plant bugs grow up to 1/4ʺ.

What Damage Do Tarnished Plant Bugs Cause?

These bugs suck the sap from plants and leave behind a toxic substance. This causes brown spots on leaves and can lead to further distortion of plants as well as hindered plant growth. Dead buds and damaged seeds are signs of tarnished plant bug infestations.



Cutworms hide in gardens during the day waiting to feed on plants at night.

What Do Cutworms Look Like?

These pests are moth larvae. They range in color depending on their species. They can have a gray, black, green, brown, or pink body. Some are solid and others are patterned. Most cutworms are smaller than 2 inches.

What Damage Do Cutworms Cause?

Cutworms feed on the leaves and stems of plants and hide under leaves or in the soil. This can make it difficult to spot them. They often target young plants. As the cutworm grows in size, so does the damage it causes.

Flea Beetles

Flea Beetle

Several species of flea beetles could infest your garden.

What Do Flea Beetles Look Like?

These bugs are small, 1/16ʺ, and shiny. Most species are dark black or tan. However, a few species are brighter in color. Some have patterns on their body, while others are solid. These bugs are called fleas because of their ability to jump.

What Damage Do Flea Beetles Cause?

Flea beetle adults chew small holes in leaves. Their larvae feed on the roots of plants. They target newer leaves and young plants, which is when the most damage occurs. They also spread diseases that can lead to wilting.



Weevils are a type of beetle and are known for invading gardens.

What Do Weevils Look Like?

These bugs are oval-shaped with a long snout. They range in size from 1/8ʺ-3/8ʺ. They vary in color depending on species, but most are either brown, black, or gray.

What Damage Do Weevils Cause?

Weevil larvae and adults can cause damage to plants. Adults feed on the leaves of plants, while larvae eat roots and stems. This can lead to yellowing, wilting, and stunted plant growth. These beetles target a variety of plants and each species has their own preferences. If given the chance, weevils will come inside in search of food and moisture.

Protecting your plants from hungry bugs is important if you want them to be healthy. Though some insects can be very destructive, there are ways to keep your garden bug-free. Our 3-in-1 Garden Spray not only kills and repels garden pests, but it also fights plant fungal diseases. For a more environmentally and family-friendly solution, check out our Maggie’s Farm Simply Effective™ Pest Control products.

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