Here you’ll find a list of insects and other critters commonly found in our gardens. Healthy plants are more tolerant of insect pressure, so most do not generally warrant much management.  Plants that are stressed (dry soil, non-established root systems, limited root spread, over watering, etc.) are vulnerable to severe damage.  Many of these critters are expected in our ecosystem, and can be tolerated rather than viewed as a “pest.”  Our approach is to do our best to promote healthy plants, so that interventions are very rarely needed.  Sometimes then best treatment can even be to remove a plant and start over!

Our color-coding system alerts you to areas of concern: Look for green, yellow, or red “lights” for each entry.


Gardeners take note

Aphids are easy to ID – look for two tail-pipe-like appendages on the abdomen. Aphids can be winged or wingless, and any color – black, green, and whitish being most common. Affected sections of plants can be removed when numbers are high, and aphids can be brushed off before consuming produce.  Lady bugs eat aphids,… Read more »


Low / None

    European Earwigs (Forficula auricularia Linnaeus) appear similar to beetles with segmented abdomen, six legs, antenna and forceps (called cerci) which are harmless and used to identify their sex. Earwigs enjoy small moist and dark spaces. They come out at night to feed on aphids, mites and their eggs, occasionally they might nibble on… Read more »

Flea Beetle

Gardeners take note

Flea beetles (Phyllotreta spp) are small beetles that chew holes in plants and roots. They lay eggs in the soil and nymphs feed on new seedlings’ roots. There are dozens of species of flea beetles in Colorado but they all jump and produce “buckshot” holes in vegetation. They lie inactive during winter months and emerge… Read more »


Gardeners take note

  There are over 100 species of grasshoppers, a.k.a locusts, (Melanoplus spp.) in Colorado that mainly feed on grasses, sedges and tall lawns. Most overwinter as eggs in the soil and emerge when weather is dry and warm. These guys are relatively harmless in very small numbers and provide nutritious food for birds and praying… Read more »


Gardeners take note

Desert cottontail rabbits (Sylvilagus audubonii) are common in Colorado and often dig holes and build nests in garden beds. They feast on young shoots and leaves emerging in spring and fruits later in the season. Fun fact, these rabbits rarely need to drink water since most of their fluid intake stems from their diet. Can… Read more »

Tomato hornworms

Can be a serious problem

Hornworms are categorized as large caterpillars that mainly cause insignificant damage with the exception of the tomato hornworm. All caterpillars in this genus transition into moths known as ‘hawk moths,’ to lay more eggs mid-summer. They appear as giant caterpillars with a flexible ‘horn’ that is for show. The relatively harmless white lined spinx worm… Read more »