Mealybugs and Scale Insects

Mealybugs scale insect antsMealybugs are technically a type of scale insect (mealybugs and all other scale insects are in the order Hemiptera), but when it comes to gardening, mealybugs are often separated out from other scale insects because mealybug females are motile (all male scale species have wings), while other scale females generally lose their legs. There are three families of scale insects: Coccidae (soft scales), Diaspididae (armored scales) and Pseudococcidae (mealybugs).

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The Praying Mantis: A Beneficial Insect

Praying mantisIf you find a praying mantis in your balcony garden, you may want to leave it there. Known as the praying mantis for its prayerlike stance, this insect is predatory and will feed on common garden pests. Many praying mantises are camouflaged, and you may not notice them.

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Birdbaths for the Balcony Garden

BirdbathBirdbaths, along with birdfeeders and a lot of container plants, can encourage wild birds to visit and keep coming back to your balcony garden. Birdfeeders and plants provide birdseed and safe resting places, and birdbaths can complete your balcony bird habitat by providing a place for birds to bathe, cool off and get a drink.

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Getting Rid of Leaf Miner Pests

Leaf miner pestsIf you see squiggly lines on your container plant leaves, you may have an infestation of leaf miner pests. Leaf miners are the larvae of insects that live inside of and eat plant leaves. The squiggly lines are the damage created by the larvae eating the plant's leaf tissue, and experts can tell what species is eating the leaf by examining the squiggly line pattern. Most leaf miners are moths and flies. The damage can be quite extensive before the plant loses its vigor and begins to die. While leaf miners are not an immediate threat, their numbers can grow out of control and eventually kill your plants.

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10 Cute Cats in the Garden (Photos)

Cats love to come outside when gardeners are working on or checking up on their plants. They love to smell the smells, watch passers-by, chase bugs or just bask in the sun. As long as you make sure your cat stays out of danger while she's in the garden, you can enjoy the garden with her.

Enjoy these 10 cute photos of cats enjoying gardens!

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