Garden plant pests

Is something lurking in your garden and damaging your plants? Find out about common garden pests and how to deal with them.
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The hemerocallis (daylily) gall midge infests flower buds and causes them to distort and often fail to open. Pick off and destroy affected buds and try planting later flowering varieties. Find out more at www.oakleafgardening.com

If you open up a distorted bud you’ll find them…

The common spangle gall wasp lays its eggs under distinctive 'galls' on oak trees. The first generation are laid under berry-like galls in the spring, the second generation under these disc-shaped galls in the summer, which are often found covering the ground under the tree in the autumn. It does little damage to oak trees so generally no controls are required. Find out more at www.oakleafgardening.com

How to recognise it There are two generations each year, each developing in a different type of gall. In the spring ‘currant’ galls can be seen on catkins (and…

Anyone trying to grow lilies will be familiar with this striking little insect, the lily beetle. These bright red creatures will lay their eggs on your lily leaves which wil hatch into larvae covered in their own excrement (lovely!). They then pupate over winter before emerging from March to June and decimating any lilies within munching distance. Find out more about this pest and how to deal with it at oakleafgardening.com

How to recognise it The adult beetles are bright red with a black head and legs, and are up to in length. Their sausage-shaped eggs are orange-red and…

Froghoppers, or spittlebugs, are small insects found on plants from May until the autumn. The nymphs excrete a protective covering of froth known as 'cuckoo spit'. Find out more at www.oakleafgardening.com

Froghoppers – Philaenus spumarius and Cercopis vulnerata – Problems

This might look like box blight, but it's actually "black labrador blight"! Dogs might be man's best friend, but they can cause havoc in a garden. As well as digging and faeces, the most noticeable damage comes from their urine. Lawns, conifers and low growing shrubs (like this poor box plant) tend to be their preferred toilet spots! Find out more at oakleafgardening.com

How to recognise it Signs of dog damage in your garden tend to be brown, discoloured patches on lawns, conifers and low lying shrubs. You may find dog faeces…

The garden rose tortrix moth (Acleris variegana) munches on roses and other shrubs/trees from May to early July. You can spot the larvae by the way they fold over leaves and web them together to create little shelters. Find out more at oakleafgardening.com

How to recognise it The tiny (about pale yellow to red eggs can sometimes be spotted along the midribs of leaves in the spring.

The mottled arun aphid, Aulacorthum circumflexum, infests glasshouse plants and houseplants. It feeds from the sap, causing distortions, and is a carrier for over 30 different plant viruses. Find out more at www.oakleafgardening.com

How to recognise it The adult aphids are to in length and yellow or green coloured.

The larvae/caterpillars of Evergestis forficalis (the garden pebble moth) can cause significant damage to brassica crops, particularly Brussels sprouts. Find out more at www.oakleafgardening.com

How to recognise it Green caterpillars with a row of black spots along each side and a white head, found around the leaves and heads of Brussels sprouts plants….

Nut weevils are beetle-like creatures which lay their eggs in the nuts of oaks, hazels, chestnuts, pecans and hickories. The larvae hatch within the nuts, consume the kernel then burrow out through small round holes to overwinter in the soil. Find out more at www.oakleafgardening.com

How to recognise it The weevil is a small to long), brown, beetle-like creature with a long snout called a ‘rostrum’ (the females have longer snouts)….

The sycamore gall mite causes a red rash of galls to appear on the upper leaf surfaces of sycamores and other Acers. While unsightly, it's not harmful to the overall plant. Find out more at www.oakleafgardening.com

How to recognise it Lots of small red lumps (galls) which are about the size of a pinhead on the upper surface of young leaves, giving the appearance of a rash…

Sycamore gall mites cause tiny red lumps (called "galls") to appear on the upper surfaces of young leaves. While unsightly, this pest does relatively little damage to the overall plant. Find out more at www.oakleafgardening.com

How to recognise it Lots of small red lumps (galls) which are about the size of a pinhead on the upper surface of young leaves, giving the appearance of a rash…

The chrysanthemum leaf miner causes white spots on chrysanthemum leaves (or related plants) which then expand to become white tunnels (or 'mines'). Damage on outdoor plants occurs in May, June or late summer, but indoors this pest can strike at any time. Severe infestations can reduce the healthy leaf surface to such an extent that the plant wilts. Remove affected leaves as soon as you spot them. Insecticides can be effective.

The chrysanthemum leaf miner causes white spots on chrysanthemum leaves (or related plants) which then expand to become white tunnels (or 'mines'). Damage on outdoor plants occurs in May, June or late summer, but indoors this pest can strike at any time. Severe infestations can reduce the healthy leaf surface to such an extent that the plant wilts. Remove affected leaves as soon as you spot them. Insecticides can be effective.

Fuchsia gall mite (Aculops fuchsiae) can become a real problem if you grow fuchsias. An infestation can cause the leaves to redden, distort and swell. The whole plant can quickly become affected and it's difficult to erradicate this pest. Resistant varieties are available. Find out more at oakleafgardening.com

How to recognise it The mites themselves are worm-like in shape and pale yellow to white, but at only long they cannot be seen with the naked eye….

Solomon's seal sawfly (Phymatocera aterrima) are a real problem when growing Solomon's seal. The larvae of these insects eat distinctive stips from the leaves. Deal with them quickly or the entire plant may be defoliated. Find out more at oakleafgardening.com

Solomon’s seal sawfly – Phymatocera aterrima – Problems

The chrysanthemum leaf miner, Chromatomyia syngenesiae, creates small white spots on leaves, followed by sinuous white tunnels (called 'mines') as the larvae feed on the leaf tissue. Find out more and how to control this pest at oakleafgardening.com

The chrysanthemum leaf miner, Chromatomyia syngenesiae, creates small white spots on leaves, followed by sinuous white tunnels (called 'mines') as the larvae feed on the leaf tissue. Find out more and how to control this pest at oakleafgardening.com

Ants are fascinating creatures, but they can cause a few problems for the gardener. Find out more about them and what you can do to deter them at oakleafgardening.com

How to recognise it Generally you will know you have an ant infestation simply by the increasing volume of ants in a particular part of your garden.

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