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Plant Pests T - Z listing of insect and other garden pests

Page 3 of 3 - T to Z with listing of all common garden and plant problems, pests and diseases.

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.

Also at work underground in this list, are the potato-partial wireworms. Be aware that they are also a prblem for many plants - especially with fleshy roots - in the vegetable garden.

The garden pond might also fall prey to a pest especially if it has water Lilies - Nymphaea - Water lily Beetles.


Black and Yellow Thrips - Storm Flies - Thunder Flies

Thrips Thunder Flies

Minute small flies, being less than 2mm in size - Thrips - cause streaky marks on flowers and foliage. They suck the sap out of leaves and flowers, and generally disfigure the plants appearance. Both adult flies and the young pupae feed on the plant. Thrips are very small insects - just visible - and are more active in hot dry weather when the plant is lacking in water.

Thrips are also known as Thunder Flies, for they are very noticeable in or after thundery weather in warm temperatures.

Tortrix Moth - Caterpillars - Webs of Caterpillars

The Tortrix Moth caterpillars that hatch, then feed on the leaves

The Tortrix Moth Caterpillars attack a wide range of trees and shrubs, but they create worse damage on Top fruit trees - Apples and Pears.

The small brown or green caterpillars roll the leaf edges together and spin fin web of silken threads to hold the leaf in its coiled position.

The caterpillars can then feed on the leaf tissue and the protective covering makes it difficult to control by spraying.

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Vine weevil Beetle

 the Vine weevil, with its narrow jaw structure which cuts the 'slices' out of leaves

The Vine Weevil Beetle is now a major pest for certain crops and plants in the UK and Europe.

Whilst the adult beetle doe little more than disfigure the leaves that it feeds upon, the young, by the way of small grubs, eat into the root system of a wide range of plants.

There are two problems with control. The first being that the Vine Weevil Beetle is not much more than approximately 1cm long from end of feeler to rear end - and is mainly nocturnal!


Whitefly or Whiteflies on Plants

Cabbage Whitefly

Whiteflies are a serious garden and plant pest and should be controlled as soon as they are found. If whitefly are allowed to multiply, then the infestation can do serious harm. There are several ways for controlling whiteflies, together with effective methods to kill them.

Whitefly or whiteflies are probably one of the most easily recognized and identified of all garden and plant pests.

Individually, whiteflies are just a few millimetres from head to tip of tail - about the size of a pinhead! They usually fly around in clouds when disturbed, and otherwise, are happy to carry on sucking the sap out of your plants from the underside of the leaves. Unmistakably white, they are shaped like miniature moths.

Wasp Damage

How to Kill Wasps

There are some beneficial wasps, and there are the others that maraud our ripe fruit, and insist on gate-crashing the afternoon tea on the lawn! We are more inclined to want ways of killing wasps than preserving them

Wasps are feeders on soft, ripe, fruit, and on most things sweet - cream buns, ice cream all manner of puddings etc

They are not the easiest of creatures to control, and simply swatting about with a newspaper - other than when you have the wasp trapped on the window - is usually fraught with more problems for the wasp swatter than the wasp itself.

Woolly Aphids

Woolly Aphids normally come in clusters

Woolly Aphids normally come in clusters, yet rarely seem to do much damage other than the scarred tissue that they leave behind on the stem. Woolly Aphids are normally seen on stems rather than on foliage like other Aphids. The waxy coat they cover themselves with are a good method of defence - both from the spray-happy gardener and other predators.

Woolly Aphids are often found on fruit trees, so the damage they do to stems and bark can give rise to secondary problems, such as cancer able to gain access for the spores through the damaged tissue.

Because of the waxy coating, some insecticide can simply wash off the Aphids. However a drench in early spring with Bifenthrin has a short term effect, but later on in the season the 'wash-off' effect seems to intensify.

Raspberry Yellow Tail Moth

Raspberry Yellow Tail Moth.  Stripping of leaves

Hairy caterpillars from the Yellow tail Moth can cause stripping of the leaves on Raspberries. Typical signs are holes in the raspberry leaves or eaten leaf edges.

The moth is quite attractive – pure silky white – giving its sometimes-used common name of the Swan Moth. As well as the white wings, it has characteristic identifying yellow rear end. This is not so with the larval caterpillar stage which is generally black – with white and orange markings.

This Yellow Tail Moth – or rather its larvae - is not normally considered a severe garden pest, for the caterpillars are only present in small numbers most of the time in the UK. The food of the yellow tail moth caterpillars are plant leaves - in this instance leading to eaten raspberry foliage.

Water Lily Beetle

Water lily Beetle lays its eggs on the water lily pads

The leaf damage caused by the water Lily beetle is quite obvious and also the main pest problem of Water lilies - Nymphaea.

The beetles and larvae are active in the late spring and summer months - busy chewing holes and furrows out of the Nymphaea Water Lily foliage.

Nymphaea Pink sensation. Free from the leaf damaging effects of the Water lily Beetle.

Because there are often fish present with the water lilies, it is difficult to effect a chemical control. The normal method of control is to simply wash the beetles and larvae off the foliage and flowers with a strong jet of water from a hose.


Wireworms are bright orange brown and slow moving

Wireworms are bright orange brown and slow moving and around 3cm long. They are sometimes mistaken for the much faster moving centipede. The centipede is a friend, the wireworm is not!

Wireworms eat the root system of most plants and are also a pest of potato crop where they bore into the tuber.

They are the larvae of the Click Beetle - itself a relatively harmless insect. The wireworm larvae takes around three years to become an adult, and during that time feeds underground.

Woodlice cause damage to young plant leaves

Woodlice cause damage to young plant leaves

Most people know what a woodlice looks like, but not many are aware of the damage that they actually cause - especially at night when they roam and eat young leaves of tender plants. Woodlice also feed on old decaying matter and general garden debris, which is where they are normally found during the daylight hours.

Typically Woodlice either scurry away with their multitude of legs, or curl up in a tight ball - hoping that it will deter any predator!

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