Gardenseeker Guide to Plant Pests - Insects and Bugs

Information and Advice how to deal with Garden Problems, pests and diseases.

The most visual of all garden problems - after obvious animal damage - are plant pests. Plant pests are distinct from Plant Diseases in that they are actually living 'creatures'. Normally - but not always - having legs or wings to help them move round.



Aphids - Greenfly and Black fly etc - are the most common visible garden pests. Anyone with a garden would have encountered an aphid on some plant or other. Roses are suckers for greenfly (excuse the pun) and Nasturtiums make a good feast for blackfly aphids - as do the young growth of broad beans in the vegetable plot!

Most plant pests can be destroyed with an application or so of a pesticide. Greenfly Killer and Bug Guns are two typical pesticides that can be used on a wide range of garden pests.

Other garden pests and insects include a wide range of sap suckers - such as the aphids, and those that like to chew leaves - and stems - such as slugs, sawflies and caterpillars. Some are happier chomping away on flower petals. Earwigs are one of the culprits that do this.

We will exclude dogs, cats and deer from this section on plant pests, as they tend to do physical damage or disgusting mess. Basically any other types of garden problem that cannot be treated with a pesticide!

Pest Recognition

So, basically, if it has wings, legs, or other method of moving about such as with the slithering of slugs, then it is possibly a pest and not a disease. Though, many garden pests are carriers of diseases, even though their main purpose in life is eating or sucking.

DO bear in mind, that many insects and living creatures in the garden are beneficial - such as the Ladybird in the image.

Unlike plant diseases, plant pests are normally easy to recognise. Most will have seen greenfly aphids, blackfly, whitefly, slugs, earwigs and the like. They are often at home in our garden, and if not in too great numbers, will do no lasting harm.

Good Insects in the Garden

Not ALL insects and creepy crawlies are pests. Many insects in the garden are predators - quite happy to keep out plant pests down to reasonable numbers. Alas, many are killed off by the over-zealous use of plants sprays. If only they would ban the Ready to Use plant insect sprays, much of the problem would be solved. As it is, it is so easy to pop into the shed and get a ready mixed insecticide and then spray until the gun is empty.

Don't forget that it is not always contact with the plant pest that kills it. Most insecticides leave a residue or are taken in by the plant - thus leaving a long lasting trail of death for all insects – good and bad - that fall foul!

Plant Pests Pages - starting letter A - L Plant Pests

The Bark Beetle

The Bark Beetle

Within the pest listing range, you will find some of the most common insect pest that affect many garden plants, including of course, the wide range of Aphids and other sap sucking insects.

Correct identification of your garden pest is very important before you start treating. Far better of course, to be aware of the pests that are prevalent in given seasons in order to use preventative methods before an infestation.

Plant Pests Pages - starting letter M - S Plant Pests

Moles in the Gardens

Moles in the Gardens

Mealybugs and Red Spider mites top the list of garden enemies, and also for the indoor plants - house and greenhouse. Some of the fruit enemies are in this A - S listing - especially for Strawberries and Raspberries.

In the ornamental garden, the Rhododendrons find a few enemies on this page, or should we say that the enemies find the Rhododendrons?

Plant Pests Pages - starting letter T - Z Plant Pests

Vine Weevil Beetle

Vine Weevil Beetle

T - Z with garden pests will include one of the most difficult pests to get under control - Whitefly! Together with that, the larvae of the Vine weevil Beetle will play havoc with your plant's root system - often resulting in death with smaller plants. Observation of your plants on a regular basis may well alert you to what is happening underground - especially with the tell-tale leaf damage which is the hall mark of Vine Weevil Beetles.




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