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bad garden bugs: the dirty dozen

These bad garden bugs are wanted in the Wild, Wild West way - dead or alive. 

These bad bugs eat or suck the juices out of your plants. And since they go from plant to plant, they also spread diseases.

Teach kids how to recognize these unwanted interlopers and get rid of them. And how to recognize the good bugs, too.

If you're handpicking these bad guys off your prize plants, you have two options: pick and crush (not for the faint of heart), or pick and toss into a jar half full of water and a dash of liquid soap.

Here are the dirty dozen bad garden bugs to recognize and eliminate on sight.

1.  Bad garden bugs: aphids

Spray these bad guys off your plants with water from the garden hose or a spray bottle. (And encourage good garden bugs that eat them for you!)

2.  Corn earworms

Handpick these garden killers off your plants.

3.  Tomato hornworms

Handpick these bad guys off your plants on sight.

4.  Squash vine borers

Get rid of these garden destroyers using the basic stem borer control method: Insert wire in hole in stem and skewer.

5.  Cucumber beetles

Handpick these plant killers off your plants upon sight.

6.  Cutworms

Use cutworm collars - 2-inch sections of toilet-paper or paper towel rolls - pushed into the ground around stems of transplants.

7.  Cabbage loopers

Handpick these nasty bugs off your plants.

8.  Mealybugs

Spray these bad guys off your plants with water or swab off with alcohol on a paper towel or tissue.

9.  Spider mites

Spray spider mites off with water from a squirt bottle.

10.  Snails and slugs

Handpick, crush, or set out beer traps.

11.  Earwigs

Trap and crush these bad boys.

12.  Whiteflies

Spray off these insidious insects with water or set out yellow sticky traps to catch and remove them.

Finally, make sure you know the 10 Most Wanted Good Bugs. Keep these beneficial insects safe from your bad guy eradication routine.

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