Most People Can't Identify All of These Garden Creatures From an Image. Can You?

By: Bambi Turner
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

Can you tell your aphids from your armyworms or spider mites from squash bugs? Do your friends turn to you for gardening advice because of your green thumb? If so, you might have what it takes to ace our garden creatures quiz!

There's no question that gardening provides a variety of benefits. Sure, there's the obvious reward of saving money by growing your own produce or flowers instead of buying them, but that's not all. Gardening serves as a form of moderate exercise, which helps keep you fit and healthy. This hobby also provides a boost of happiness and sense of achievement as you watch seeds transform into healthy plants thanks to your hard work. Finally, gardening can be seen as a form of meditation, offering peace and tranquility in this busy modern world.

Of course, gardening isn't easy by any means, and if you're heading out to the garden-seeking solitude -- forget it. No matter where you live, your garden is surely occupied with countless creatures and critters. While many people are quick to spray insecticides to get rid of these pests, it's important to keep in mind that many garden creatures are actually pretty helpful to keep around. Not only can they help pollinate your plants, but many also chow down on the very pests that plague your garden.

Think you can name the most common garden residents from just a single image? Take our quiz to find out.

Aphids are a thorn in any gardener's side. These tiny insects feast on all types of plants ​and can destroy your garden haul despite your hard work. Even worse, they leave behind a residue known as honeydew which attracts ants. Keep them under control by squashing any you see, or spray them with a mixture of dish soap and water.

The larva of the armyworm moth, armyworms are an invasive species that cause lots of damage to crops and plants in the U.S. They get their name because they form lines of destruction, moving like an army across the battlefield. Some blackbirds and crows will feast on these pests.

Grasshoppers nosh on everything from cereal plants to veggies and pasture grass. They have powerful jumping legs and are great at camouflage, which means they are hard for predators to catch, so you may need to use chemicals to control them in your garden.

Root maggots feast on the roots of a plant, and look like small houseflies when they reach the adult stage. Keep these 1/4 inch flies under control using row covers to protect the base of your plants.

Corn earworms are one of the biggest agricultural pests in the United States. Unfortunately, they're also resistant to most pesticides, and require advanced, multi-pronged management techniques to control their population.

Spider mites get their name from the fact that they spin fine silk webbing, similar to actual spiders. They're less than 1mm in size and prefer to hide under the leaves of plants, chewing holes that can destroy your garden. Fortunately, they and their eggs can often be removed from plants by ​using a strong spray of water.

Despite their name, squash bugs will not only feed on squash plants, but also pumpkins and cucumbers. These dark gray or brown bugs suck sap from leaves, leading to a plant that wilts or dies.

There are more than 6,000 species of thrips, each more annoying than the last. These 1mm insects are weak fliers, but that doesn't stop them from spreading disease to plants and feeding on their leaves. Luckily, many thrips are beneficial because they consume small mites and their eggs.

There are more than 1,500 species of whitefly seeking to build a cozy home in your garden. Despite their name, they come in various colors, including black ones that love to dine on citrus crops. The biggest damage from these tiny flies is a secretion called honeydew, which attracts other insects.

There are an estimated 22,000 ant species living in colonies of a few dozen up to several million around the globe. While some are invasive, many are valuable to keep around because they control populations of other common garden pests.

Asparagus beetles come in both common and spotted varieties. Common species are red with black backs dotted with white spots, while spotted varieties are all red with black spots. Both gnaw away at asparagus plants, causing then to wilt, brown or droop.

Cabbage worms not only feast on cabbage, but also on broccoli, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. They pose the most risk while the plants are just beginning to sprout, and can be identified by their velvety green appearance.

Slugs may hang out with other garden creatures, but they are actually a type of mollusk -- like clams or the giant squid. These shell-less critters leave a trail of slime in their wake, and will dine on almost anything in the garden. Many gardeners rely on beer-filled traps to keep slugs from doing too much damage.

It starts with "M."

Leafminers are a threat to beans, blackberries, cabbage and many other plants. They look like small black flies, but its the larvae that really poses a problem. The immature leafminers leave white squiggly trails on leaves, but can be kept at bay by wasps, which feast on the larvae and eggs.

Despite their stingers, wasps in the garden are actually a good thing. Sure they may sting, but are typically not aggressive, and they tend to feast on a wide variety of garden pests.

Sowbugs and pillbugs -- also known as roly polies because of their ability to roll up like a ball when threatened -- love hanging out in damp spots in the garden. Generally, they feast on dead plants and don't do a whole lot of damage.

Think of a snail like a slug with a shell on its back. Like slugs, snails leave a trail of slime as they travel, and tend to feast on many garden plants. Spread ashes on diatomaceous earth around the garden to keep snails under control.

Cucumber beetles not only dine on the roots of plants, but also transmit harmful bacteria. These come in both striped and spotted varieties, and can be recognized by their yellow and black color scheme.

The leafhopper, or hopper, is a fly measuring around 1/4 inch long. They suck the sap from plants, leaving ugly white specks and curled leaves behind. Use row covers and keep trash and debris to a minimum to help get rid of these pests.

The European corn borer was likely imported into the U.S. around the beginning of the 20th century, and has been destroying corn and other crops ever since. This tan caterpillar is best eliminated with beneficial insect populations, such as ladybugs.

Also known as plant lice, psyllids feast on fruit and tomatoes. They also transmit viruses and leave behind a secretion that may encourage mold growth. Get rid of these pests using pesticides, neem oil, or natural predators like ladybugs.

Measuring less than two inches in length, wireworms are yellow or light brown. They eat the seeds, roots and bulbs of plants, making them very unpopular among gardeners. Use potato traps or encourage birds to help keep wireworms under control.

Clover mites are tiny red bugs that look like miniature spiders. They are harmless to humans and pets, though they will leave an ugly red smear when squashed.

The cutworm is actually the larvae of a moth, and looks like a green or brown caterpillar. They feast on veggie and flower seedlings, but can be controlled using wasps -- their primary predator.

Unlike most spiders, wolf spiders don't weave webs. Instead, these 8-eyed creatures use their natural camouflage ability to blend in so they can pounce on beetles, flies and mosquitoes. Despite their creepy-crawly appearance, this is one garden critter worth keeping around.

The yellow or copper-colored Mexican bean beetle is an extremely invasive species that feeds on leaves, giving them an unhealthy, lacy appearance. They can be removed by hand, but are also a favorite food for ladybugs.

Yup, ladybird is just another name for ladybug! There are more than 450 species of these creatures in North America, ranging from yellow to red. Most have the characteristic black spot with which you are likely familiar. Ladybirds are also one of the most helpful garden creatures to keep around because they devour a wide variety of pests.​

Despite their creepy appearance, centipedes are helpful to have in the garden because they eat many pests. If centipede populations start to soar in your garden, try to eliminate moist shady spots where the insects like to hang out.

Honeybees don't sting, and they handle around 80 percent of pollination in the U.S. That means they are one of the most beneficial garden creatures, and should be left in peace to do their job.

Earwigs are easy to spot because they have a spooky-looking pincer at one end. Though some can damage plants, they are natural predators and generally do more good than harm. And no, they don't crawl into the ears of sleeping humans -- that's just an old wives' tale.

Worms are garden superheroes! Their constant wriggling loosens soil for better water and airflow. They also continuously produce secretions that add trace minerals and nutrients to improve soil quality.

The bright green lacewing is just 1/2 inch long, but packs a lot of power. This large-winged insect eats mites, aphids and the eggs of many invasive insects.

The praying mantis gets its name from the way it holds its front feet together in a prayer-like position. This carnivorous creature is a welcome part of any garden, feasting on aphids, flies, spiders and other pests.

Ladybugs have a characteristic red color with small black spots. They tend to feast on aphids, which are a problem in many gardens. These winged insects also come in shades of orange and red.

Flea beetles get their name from the fact that they can hop from plant to plant like a typical flea. They'll eat almost any plant, and chew countless tiny holes in leaves. To keep these pests under control, remove debris, use row covers and consider adding sticky flea traps to your garden.

Hoverflies look like a miniature version of a standard bee or wasp thanks to their yellow banding. These insects are natural predators of garden pests like aphids, so many gardeners keep them around to help protect plants.

The bollworm feasts on many different plants, but is often associated with cotton and corn crops. Wasps are a natural predator, and help control bollworm populations by feasting on the creature's eggs.

The potato beetle has a unique appearance that makes it easy to distinguish from other garden pests. It's round, with a light orange color, and black spots on its head -- plus black stripes along its body. Ladybuys and lacewings can help control potato beetle populations.

Caterpillars love nothing more than munching holes into the leaves in your garden. Fortunately, wasps make quick work of these pests, so consider planting herbs like dill and parsley to attract more wasps.

Cabbage loopers get their name from the way they draw their body up into a loop as they travel. Most are pale green with fine white stripes. If these pets are consuming your cabbage, plant herbs and install a birdhouse to attract predators like wasps and birds.

Stink bugs have a distinct shield shape, and love to chow down on fruit, flowers, corn and beans. Keep these bugs at bay by keeping your garden clear of debris, and encouraging predators like the praying mantis.

The tomato hornworm is the largest caterpillar found in a typical garden, and can measure up to four inches long. This critter feasts on tomatoes, peppers and potatoes, but because of its large size, is easy to remove by hand.

Clouds of annoying gnats can really ruin your time in the garden. To reduce the number of gnats in your yard, mow your lawn regularly, water early in the morning so the grass can dry out by midday, and remove any debris that allows moisture to build up in the yard.

Mosquitoes buzzing and biting can keep all but the most avid gardeners from venturing outside. Eliminate infestations by getting rid of all sources of standing water in your yard, and make sure to cover your arms and legs when you're working outside to minimize bites.

Weevils look like standard beetles, but can be distinguished by their pointed snouts. These pests eat everything from grains to flowers and fruits, but can be controlled using many pesticides.

Though they're often referred to as bees, those aggressive yellow and black stinging insects are actually wasps. While yellow jackets can be a nuisance, they are also natural predators to many critters that hang out in the garden, so consider whether the benefits outweigh the costs before trying to get rid of them.

Hornets are wasps that live in underground burrows. They look similar to yellow jackets, but are much larger. Best of all, they are unlikely to bother you if you leave them alone, and will consume many common garden pests.

The tarnished plant bug is bronze in color and around 1/4 inch long. It loves to chew on bulbs and flowers, and even injects toxins into plants as it sucks out the sap. To control these pests, remove the weeds in which they like to hide out.

The blister beetle is so named because it can leave a welt or blister on the skin if crushed. It's also very dangerous for horses and livestock if eaten. Steer clear of these bugs, and remove all sources of the pigweed and ironweed that tend to attract them to a garden.

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