Growing Guide: Common Pests

Common Pests

Below is a short guides on how to control and prevent common pests in the Albuquerque Area:


Lady bugs are a great and natural way to rid your plants of aphids. Aphids are seen here as the small green bugs, but they can also be black, red, yellow or brown depending on the species.

About: Aphids are a common pest in Albuquerque. This soft-bodied, usually wingless insect is social and will eat your plants in clusters. They will feast on the plant’s fluids, which can cause wilting and malformations. In addition, aphids produce honeydew that attracts a fungi known as sooty mold, making the infected area black. The sugar substance can also attract other bugs like ants.


  • Edible Plants: If aphids are munching on your edible plants, apply a product like Fertilome's Triple Action Plus. This product will be okay to spray on your plants up to the day of harvest.
  • -Indoor Houseplant: To treat an indoor plant, use Hi-Yield's Systemic Insect Granules. Apply every 8 weeks for best results.
  • Outdoor Plants: To treat outdoor plants use Fertilome's Tree & Shrub Systemic Insect Drench. This product will also rid your plants of more critters, including scale and borers.

Alternative: An alternative to sprays would be using beneficial insects such as lady bugs or praying mantids. As long as there is a food source, the bugs will stay. Release lady bugs in the evening, so they can have a better chance of making your yard their home.


Summer is a beautiful time for all those perennial and native blooms to grace us with eye candy. It is also a time where bugs harvest veggies or cause problems in our lawn and/or gardens. One common pest we have encountered here at Osuna Nursery is known as the bagworm. Shown to the right, the bagworm is in its larval stage, where it wraps itself in a cocoon. They will attack both deciduous and evergreen plants. Bagworms will eat at the leaves, causing them to turn brown. Eventually, they will form their cocoon and await their transfiguration into a moth.

The best way to treat a plant with bagworms is to apply spinosad or acephate. Spinosad is a natural and organic way to get rid of bagworms,killing the feasting worms within 1-2 days of ingestion. Acephate is a foliar systemic insecticide. The best time to treat your plant is when the bagworms are active.

If not treated, your plant could suffer from dieback or the bug could winter over and produce more larvae.
For further information, talk with an Osuna Nursery representative from our Pharmacy Department.


About: Grasshoppers may make music with their hind legs, but do not be decieved- they eat plants! They feast on a variety of plants and enjoy grasses.

Treat: There are a few options in treating grasshoppers. We recommend using Nolo Bait, a pathogen that makes the grasshopper weak. Eventually it causes the grasshopper community to eat eachother, causing them to slowly become infected with the virus and for an organic approach, you can try praying mantids.


About: Grubs are a common pest in the lawn. There are a few ways to find out if you have grubs. The best way is to dig in your suspected problem area and look. If you see 3 grubs or more in a 1 cubic foot area, then you know you have a problem. Since grubs attack the root system of a lawn, another indicator is when you pick up a patch of grass, it is easily removed. Suspect areas may also be brown.

Treat: It is best to treat grubs before they attack your lawn, usually done in May for the Albuquerque area. Apply a granular like Hi-Yield Grub Free Zone, which you will spread across your lawn. Other options include using Milky Spore or Beneficial Nematoids.

Spider Mites 

About: Spidermites are tiny bugs that make their home on the underside of plants and spin silk webs. They are commonly found on Junipers and evergreens in the Albuquerque area.

Treat: You can use an insecticide like Triple Action Plus or Bonide's Eight. Other products would include any oil-based product like Neem Oil, Dormant Spray or Horticultural Oil.