Types of Garden Pests

All gardens, however carefully nurtured, are likely to harbor some pests and diseases. If you see these bugs around your plants, there's a good chance they are damaging them.
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©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: Image courtesy of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Slide Set, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, Bugwood.org


Pollen beetle populations surge in midsummer. They do little damage to plants, but are unsightly on cut flowers; they can simply be shaken off.

Potted Plant Weevils

Vine weevil larvae in roots often kill potted plants. Control in late summer with insecticide watered onto the pot, or use the nematode biological control.

Vine Weevils

Vine weevils can be introduced into your garden in the roots or top growth of newly-bought plants. Always check plants and root balls before planting.


Earwigs do not harm plants, despite their fierce appearance—they only take bites out of their petals. They actually benefit the garden by eating insect pests.


Green aphids, or greenflies, secrete sticky honeydew on leaves and stems, providing an ideal growing medium for the black fungus known as sooty mold.

Lily Beetles

Lily beetles are bright red with black heads. Both adults and young grubs eat leaves, flowers, and seed pods, and may kill plants unless removed or treated.

Plum Leaf Curling Aphids

The leaf curl plum aphid is often found inside curled leaves. It overwinters in the egg stage near the base of buds. In spring it rapidly builds populations on new foliage, causing affected spurs to develop tightly curled leaves.

Red Spider Mites

Red spider mites are serious sap sucking pests that can severely weaken plants. They are tiny red mites that are almost impossible to see with the naked eye. An infestation will cause mottling on leaves and eventually kill the plant.

Vine Weevil Larvae

The black vine weevil is a serious pest with the adult weevils feeding on foliage, often resulting in an unsightly appearance. The more serious damage is done by grubs in the larval stage, which feed on the roots and main stem, often killing the plant.

Sawfly Larvae

The caterpillarlike larvae of the sawfly feeds on young fruit, or tunnels into the leaves, sometimes causing distorted growth. Damage can be rapid and extensive. Control with insecticide or pick off and destroy.

Whitefly Are Sap Sucking Insects

White flies are small winged insects which look more like moths than flies. Feeding white flies will cause leaves to turn up and brown, disabling them. Damaged leaves look as if they are covered with a sooty mold. Flies breed and infest plants quickly.

Cabbage White Butterfly Caterpillars

Large holes in the leaves of brassica crops are usually the work of cabbage white caterpillars. These hatch into larvae which make small holes in the leaves as they start to feed on them, becoming much larger as caterpillars feed more vigorously.

Carrot Fly Maggots

Carrot fly is the most problematic pest of carrots and allied vegetables. It can make a large proportion of the crop inedible. The carrot fly is a small black-bodied fly whose larvae feed on the roots of carrots and related plants, ruining the entire crop.

Codling Moth Caterpillars

The codling moth is a common pest of apples. It is actually the caterpillar of the codling moth that does all the damage. The female moths lay their eggs individually on the fruits of the apple tree, hatch out into caterpillars and tunnel into fruit.

Flea Beetles

Flea beetles spread organisms throughout the growing season by feeding on infected plants, then flying and feeding on healthy ones. As the season progresses, new broods of flea beetles become infected.

Gooseberry Sawfly

The common gooseberry sawfly is one of several sawfly species that attacks gooseberry and red or white currant bushes during late spring and summer. Damage is caused by the caterpillar-like larvae which devour the plants' leaves.

Japanese Beetles

Hand-picking beetles as they appear is an effective and non-invasive control method. Although commercially available, the use of Japanese beetle traps is discouraged. Baited with beetle attracting scents, these traps are likely to draw more beetles to the site than the traps will accommodate. Chemical treatments are effective: select insecticides with a narrow spectrum to minimize collateral damage to beneficial insects. Residual effects of an application earlier in the season will generally last through the season without continuing treatment.

Cabbage Looper Caterpillar

A common garden pest, the cabbage looper has a voracious appetite for plants in the cabbage family.

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