Garden Pests and Remedies

Garden pests come in all shapes and sizes and can wreak havoc on tender crops. Get tips on how to control carrot flies, slugs and more.

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Photo By: DK - Vegetable Gardening ©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Potato Cyst Eelworm

Potato cyst eelworms are microscopic sap-sucking nematodes that cause potato leaves to discolor and die. Avoid replanting the same crop where an infestation has occurred.

Flea Beetles

Flea beetles eat holes in the leaves of lettuce, turnips, radishes and arugula. Keep them at bay by covering seedlings with horticultural fleece.

Red Spider Mites

Red spider mites cause mottling on leaves, particularly in the greenhouse. Mist plants to increase humidity, and use a predatory mite called Phytoseiulus persimilis.

Slugs and Snails

Nematode biological controls are less harmful to other animals than slug pellets. Try beer traps and flashlight hunts too.

Rabbits

Voracious vegetable eaters, rabbits are cute but not when they are destroying your vegetable crop. Keep them out of the garden with a small mesh fence that extends 1 foot underground to prevent them from burrowing.

Aphids

Aphids are sap-sucking insects that weaken plant growth and carry disease. Encourage birds and insect predators to your garden, pick off small groups of aphids, or use a suitable insecticide.

Pea Moth Caterpillars

Different parts of plants may be damaged by caterpillars. Pea moth caterpillars live inside pea pods. Place nets over crops to deter egg-laying adults.

Fine Mesh

A barrier of fine mesh can be stretched around carrot plants to protect them from carrot flies. The females fly close to the ground and are unable to reach the carrots to lay their eggs.

Horticultural Fleece

Horticultural fleece stretched out over young carrot plants keeps out carrot flies.

Bottles and Copper Tape

Halved plastic bottles with copper tape around the base protect young plants from slugs, snails and birds.

Sticky Sheets

Check plants regularly and pick off any unwanted pests immediately. Sticky sheets are useful in the greenhouse to help control airborne pests.

Netting

Netting supported on wire hoops prevents birds from feasting on young plants. A finer net will keep out butterflies, whose eggs hatch into hungry caterpillars.

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation is worthwhile even in a small garden, because when crops are grown in the same place each year, pests and diseases can accumulate and cause serious problems.

Prevent Bird Damage

Netting supported with canes or wire keeps out birds. Here a fine netting separates hungry birds from lettuces.