How to Effectively Deal with Garden Pests and Diseases


I have been gardening for 30 years and in that time I have come up against all kinds of garden pests, which can be very frustrating. The number one rule is to try and not use any pesticides on your plants as this means that you will kill all the beneficial insects, so only use them as a last resort. If you do find a bug or insect in your garden then take a photo of it and send it to me so I can help identify it for you before you start killing things!

Slugs and snails

The common garden slug is a pest to gardens everywhere. They come in many different colors, but all are slimy and can cause major damage to your plants. They live in damp areas, so be sure to keep your garden well-watered if you want to avoid them.

Slugs and snails are also dangerous for people because they carry parasites that can spread disease; they’re especially unsafe for children and the elderly who may be more susceptible to infections. If you find one of these pests on your property, it’s important that you get rid of them quickly!


Caterpillars are the larvae of moths and butterflies. They can be found on most plants in the garden and feed by chewing holes through leaves, stems, roots and fruits. Caterpillars are usually green or brown but may also be black or white. Some have a banded appearance with stripes of light and dark colors running down their body. Others may have brightly colored spots such as pink, red or blue. The larger caterpillars can reach up to 2 inches long!

Caterpillars have short legs on their thoraxes (middle part) which makes them look like they’re walking on tiptoe when they move around on leaves. Many species of caterpillar have soft bodies covered with hairs that help protect them from predators during feeding periods when they may become exposed in open areas where other animals could eat them up!

Vine weevils

If you have a vine, you’re likely familiar with these little guys. They’re about 1/4 inch long, brownish in color and oval-shaped with their bodies tapering at both ends. Their legs are long and thin and they have two antennae that can grow up to two inches long!

Vine Weevil

When they’re not eating your grapes (or any other type of fruit or vegetable), vine weevils like to hang out under rocks or boards where they lay eggs. Once hatched, the larvae will feed on plant roots until they pupate into adults before making their way underground again every spring.


Thrips are tiny insects that can damage plants. They’re difficult to see, but they’re identified by the damage they cause: yellowing and curling of leaves, holes in leaves and stems, or distorted flower buds. Thrips can be a problem in greenhouses because they can be difficult to control with pesticides.


  • Whiteflies are tiny, sap-sucking insects that can wreak havoc on your garden. They live in the soil and lay their eggs on the underside of leaves, where they hatch into larvae which feed on plant sap for up to three weeks before becoming adults. Adult whiteflies are grey or yellowish moths with two pairs of transparent wings, which only appear when flight is required or when dispersing from one plant to another.

Although whiteflies are pests of all plants, they’re most prevalent in greenhouses and conservatories because these areas provide an ideal environment for them to thrive—warm temperatures, lots of light and little competition from other species due to constant relocation. The same goes for indoor areas such as offices: if you’ve got a lot of windows then chances are good that at least one room will be susceptible!

Sawfly larvae

Sawfly larvae are caterpillars that can be found on many different plants. They are typically green in color and have very large heads, which is why they get their name. Sometimes, these larvae will move from plant to plant in search of food. If you see them on your tomatoes or other vegetables, it’s important to treat them quickly before they’re able to do any real damage; otherwise, you could end up with a lot of ruined crops!

Luckily, sawfly larvae are very susceptible to insecticides and organic pesticides alike—meaning that there are plenty of ways for you to treat them if they appear in your garden. If you opt for pesticide-based solutions (which I strongly recommend), make sure that whatever pesticide spray you choose has been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Red spider mites

Red spider mites are tiny, red-colored insects that suck the sap from plants. They’re common in hot dry weather and can kill plants quickly. These little guys are hard to see, so if you suspect they’re infesting your garden, take a look at your plant’s underside—if it has white spots or webbing on its leaves or stems, you may have red spider mites.

If you find red spider mites in your garden, don’t panic! You can control them by thoroughly watering your plants once every three days (they thrive in dry conditions), keeping your soil moist but not wet and fertilizing as needed. You should also remove any dead leaves or plant matter that could become moldy and spread disease among other plants.


Leafminers are tiny, narrow, and worm-like. They’re often green or brown in color and can be found on a variety of plants. They feed by eating the leaves of your plants. This is bad for you because it causes damage to the leaves of your plant which will eventually lead to its death if left untreated.

Leafminers have a distinct way of causing damage: they leave behind little tunnels inside the leaf as they eat through them from top to bottom. These tunnels are visible from above due to their white or yellowish coloration caused by minerals in the tunnel walls (like calcium).

Leafminers are most common during springtime because that’s when it gets warm enough for them to hatch out from their cocoons or egg pods on stems just below ground level (or sometimes even inside roots). Once hatched, they’ll begin feeding immediately upon reaching maturity around 3 weeks later — after which point a female may lay up to 100 eggs per day until her death!

Leaf spot and rust diseases

Leaf spot and rust are fungal diseases that can be controlled by applying fungicides. Leaf spot is more common than rust, but both can be treated with a fungicide. Rust is more common in the fall and winter, while leaf spot occurs in spring and summer.

Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is a common fungal disease that causes leaves to develop a white, powdery coating. It results in the death of plant tissues. Powdery mildew can be difficult to manage, because it can grow on both sides of the leaf surface and is spread by wind and rain.

Powdery mildew can affect many plants, including tomatoes, cucumbers and roses. The fungus also has several different strains; some are more resistant than others to fungicides that treat powdery mildew. Preventative measures include avoiding overhead watering when possible (use drip irrigation or soaker hoses) and keeping your garden’s temperature below 85 degrees F whenever you’re outside working with it—this will slow down fungal growth in general!

It’s important to know about garden pests, so that you can keep them from killing your plants.

You should know about the different kinds of pests that can harm your garden, so that you can take steps to avoid them and treat them if they get in.

  • Knowing about pests will help you prevent them from spreading to other plants.
  • Many pest problems are not serious enough to cause damage right away, but over time it becomes a big problem as infestations spread throughout your yard and garden.

Knowing what types of pests are likely to attack certain crops means that when one crop is attacked by a particular type of bug or worm, it will be easier for you to identify what kind of treatment would be best suited for treating the affected plant(s).


It’s not easy to keep your garden pest free. You’ll have a lot of enemies wanting to eat your plants, but with the right tools and knowledge you can stop them.

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