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Top Pests and How To Treat Them

In response to the recent report by the RHS, listing the most common garden pests in the UK, we have created a comprehensive guide to help you identify and treat the top 10 garden pests. You can what each pest looks like and, where possible, we have given a number of solutions, both chemical and organic. Don't forget to look in the Sun Gardening Shop as many of these products can be found there.

Box tree caterpillar

Symptoms

Caterpillars have a greenish/yellow body with thick black and thin white stripes along the length of the body, they eat box leaves and produce webbing over their feeding area.

Chemical control

Infestations can be treated with an insecticide, Provado Ultimate Fruit & Vegetable Bug Killer or Sprayday Greenfly Killer both from Bayer), Resolva Bug Killer from Westland or Bug Clear Ultra from Scotts. Pyrol from Neudorff or PY Insecticide from Vitax (both considered organic).

Biological control

Is available for caterpillars, this is a pathogenic nematode, Steinernema carpocapsae. Caterpillar & Codling Moth Killer, Natural Fruit & Veg Protection (both from Nemasys)

Slugs/snails

Symptoms

Holes in leaves, stems, flowers and potato tubers; seedlings can be killed. They sometimes leave behind slime trails, usually seen as a silvery deposit on hard surfaces, leaves and stems.

Chemical control

There are two types of pellet available; those that contain metaldehyde, e.g. Slug Clear Ultra from Scotts, Bio Slug and Snail Killer from Bayer, Slug Killer from Doff, there is a liquid formulation of Slug Clear from Scotts available or those that contain ferric phosphate which is approved for use by organic growers , e.g. Growing Success Advanced Slug Killer, Eraza Slug and Snail Killer both from Westland, Natria Slug and Snail Control from Bayer, Slug Rid from Vitax, Super Slug Killer from Doff.

Biological control

Is available in the form of a microscopic eelworm that infects them with a fatal disease. Nemaslug from Nemasys (only for Slugs).

Aphid

Symptoms

Suck sap and cause distorted growth on leaves, stems and flowers, leave sticky residue 'honeydew' on lower leaves and stems. They may also infect plants with viruses.

Chemical control

Infestations can be treated with an insecticide, Provado Ultimate Fruit & Vegetable Bug Killer or Sprayday Greenfly Killer both from Bayer), Resolva Bug Killer from Westland or Bug Clear Ultra from Scotts. Pyrol from Neudorff, , Organic 2in1 from Vitax SB Plant Invigorator or PY Insecticide from Vitax (considered organic).

Large Cabbage White caterpillar

Symptoms

Yellow and black hairy caterpillars which eat holes in the outer leaves of all members of the cabbage family often their green found is found on the plants.

Chemical control

Infestations can be treated with an insecticide, Provado Ultimate Fruit & Vegetable Bug Killer or Sprayday Greenfly Killer both from Bayer), Resolva Bug Killer from Westland. Pyrol from Neudorff, Organic 2in1 from Vitax SB Plant Invigorator or PY Insecticide from Vitax (considered organic).

Biological control

Is available in the form of a microscopic eelworm that infects them with a fatal disease. Caterpillar and Codling Moth Killer, Natural Fruit & Veg Protection (both Nemasys)

Vine weevil

Symptoms

White/pink 'C' shaped grubs with a black or brown head eat the roots of plants, causing them to collapse and die, adults chew the edges of leaves. Favourite food plants include: Cyclamen, Heuchera, strawberries and Sedum.

Chemical control

Treat growing compost with BugClear Ultra for Vine Weevil from Scotts.

Biological control

Is available in the form of a microscopic eelworm that infects them with a fatal disease. Vine Weevil Killer from Nemasys

Cushion scale

Symptoms

These sap-sucking insects feed on the undersides of the leaves on many evergreen plants (particularly camellia). Often the first indication of their presence is s layer of sooty mould forms on the upper leaf surface of the lower leaves.

Chemical control

Summer sprays of; Provado Ultimate Fruit & Vegetable Bug Killer or Sprayday Greenfly Killer both from Bayer), Resolva Bug Killer from Westland or Bug Clear Ultra from Scotts. Pyrol from Neudorff, Organic 2in1 from Vitax, SB Plant Invigorator or PY Insecticide from Vitax.

Lily beetle

Symptoms

Bright red beetle eats away all foliage and flowers on Fritillaria and lily. Dark grey juvenile grubs on the underside of the leaves.

Chemical control

Infestations can be treated with an insecticide, Provado Ultimate Fruit & Vegetable Bug Killer or Sprayday Greenfly Killer both from Bayer), Resolva Bug Killer from Westland or Bug Clear Ultra from Scotts. Pyrol from Neudorff, Organic 2in1 from Vitax, SB Plant Invigorator or PY Insecticide from Vitax (considered organic), start applications as soon as damage is spotted.

Rosemary beetle

Symptoms

This is a pest that eats the foliage and flowers and shoot tips of rosemary, The adults and juvenile insect will also feed on d lavender, sage, thyme and some other related plants.

Chemical control

Provado Ultimate Fruit & Vegetable Bug Killer or Sprayday Greenfly Killer both from Bayer), Resolva Bug Killer from Westland.Pyrol from Neudorff, Organic 2in1 from Vitax, SB Plant Invigorator or PY Insecticide from Vitax (the Pyrethrum based sprays are more effective on thr juvenile beetles, less so on the adults).

Fuchsia gall mite

Symptoms

A microscopic, sap-sucking pest that is specific to fuchsias. The host plants have the shoot tips distorted and swollen, often red, purple or yellowish green in colour. Stems are often deformed and flowers fail to develop.

Chemical control

Cut off infested shoot tips will remove many mites but sprays of Bug Clear Ultra from Scotts or SB Plant Invigorator to prevent regrowth becoming infested.

Wooly aphid

Symptoms

Sap sucking insects that cause gall-like lesions on stems and branches, leading to poor growth and weaken trees, have a white wax coating on their bodies which repels most water-based contact sprays.

Chemical control

Infestations can be treated with an insecticide, Provado Ultimate Fruit & Vegetable Bug Killer or Sprayday Greenfly Killer both from Bayer), Resolva Bug Killer from Westland or Bug Clear Ultra from Scotts. Organic 2in1 from Vitax or SB Plant Invigorator apply sprays when plants are in leaf.



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