16 Common Garden Pests

You can identify pest damage in one of two ways: You see the insect or the damage it causes. Use chemical sprays only as a last resort. Where possible, try pest traps and barriers, biological controls and organic sprays first.

Spider Mites are Common Garden Pests DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Red Spider Mites

The tiny mites live under leaves and suck sap, causing yellow mottling. Fine webs are sometimes visible. Raise humidity and use a biological control under glass. Otherwise try organic sprays.

Gall Mites Cause Wart Like Spots on Leaves DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Gall Mites

These microscopic mites suck sap and cause abnormal growths. These include raised pimples or clumps of matted hairs on leaves, or enlarged buds. Most are harmless and can be tolerated.

Leaf Miners Attack Plants DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Leaf Miner Damage

The larvae of various flies, moths, sawflies and beetles feed within the leaves, creating discolored blotches or surface trails. Most leaf miner damage is relatively harmless and can be left untreated.

Box Suckers Feed Off of Box Plants DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Box Sucker

The wingless nymphs of box psyllids are covered in a waxy coat, and found inside the ball-shaped shoot tips in spring. Control the pest by cutting off affected growth; discard.

Codling Moth is Serious Pest to Apples and Pears DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Codling Moth

To avoid maggots in apples, spray emerging caterpillars twice using bifenthrin, starting in midsummer. Also hang pheromone traps in late spring to catch male moths and prevent them from mating.

Leaves Ravished by Winter Moths DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Winter Moth

In spring, the leaves of fruit trees are webbed together and hide green caterpillars inside. Holes are visible when leaves expand. Apply sticky traps to capture adult moths.

Scale Insects Vary Widely from Species to Species DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Scale Insects

Tiny blister or shell-like bumps on leaf backs result in poor growth. Other symptoms are sticky excretions and sooty mold on evergreens. Wash off mold, and spray with horticultural oil.

Whiteflies Attack Plants DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Whitefly

Under glass, hang yellow sticky pads to trap the tiny white flying adults, which suck sap from plants; use a biological control (Encarsia wasp) on larvae or spray with organic chemical controls.

Viburnum Leaf Beetle DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Viburnum Beetle

Both the adults and larvae eat holes in the leaves, mainly on Viburnum tinus and V. opulus; this can slow growth and looks unsightly. Spray badly affected plants in spring with bifenthrin or thiacloprid.

Thrips Feed on Brightly Colored Flowers DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Thrip

This tiny black sap-sucker, known as \"thunder fly,\" cause white patches on the petals and leaves of indoor plants, and also peas, leeks, onions and gladioli. Use biological controls.

Black Weevil and Grubs Feed on Landscape Plants DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Vine weevil Larvae

Small cream grubs with a brown head feed on plant roots, especially those growing in containers or with fleshy roots. This can cause plants to suddenly collapse.

Indiscriminate Earwigs Eat Almost Anything DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Adult Vine Weevil

The adult beetle is nocturnal, flightless and makes notches in leaves. Use a biological control (nematodes).

Moth Larvae Garden Pests DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Cabbage White Caterpillars

These voracious eaters decimate brassicas and nasturtiums. Rub off egg clusters and pick off any caterpillars you find.

Tomato Moth Larvae DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Tomato Moth

The tomato moth damages fruits. Pick off any caterpillars you find.

Sawfly Larvae Destroy Rose Leaves DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Sawfly Larvae

The caterpillar-like larvae devour the foliage on plants such as roses, gooseberries and Solomon's seal.

Leaf Rolling Are Signs of Pest Attacks DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Sawfly Damage

Leaf rolling is usually the first sign of sawflies. Pick caterpillars off by hand or spray with bifenthrin or pyrethrum.

Wooly Beech Aphids DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Woolly Beech Aphid

Seen in early summer, these white fluffy aphids coat shoots and the undersides of leaves. They suck sap and excrete honeydew that supports black sooty mold.

Adult Earwigs Feed on Young Plants DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Earwig

Mostly beneficial, earwigs are nocturnal and feed on dahlia, chrysanthemum and clematis flowers. Lure them into upturned flower pots filled with straw and release them elsewhere.

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