Common Garden Pests

Common Garden Pests

Sometimes we don’t see the pest, but we definitely see their work.

What are the most common garden pests we are likely to encounter and how can we deal with them?


Anyone who has sought to admire their garden, will have come across the devastation that slugs can do. From new shoots of delphiniums to prize hostas and lettuce leaves, slugs can leave a trail of devastation before you can say ‘where are those slug pellets…’
Fortunately, slug populations can be controlled through both the popular slug pellet and more environmentally friendly organic methods. See: Tips for dealing with slugs


There’s not too much difference between slugs and snails when it comes to pests in the garden. I remember my grandma going out in the morning with a plastic bag full of salt, she could easily fill a bag with snails almost every week. The methods for dealing with snails are similar to slugs.

Aphid / Greenfly / Blackfly.

There are several different varieties of aphids and blackfly. They have a preference for different plants and veg. Aphids can cause two main problems. They can weaken the plant by sucking their sap. They can also spread disease through the plant tissue. On a small scale, aphids can be dealt with manually, but, to protect special crops and cut flowers, it is necessary to resort to spraying – there are both traditional chemical sprays and organic methods. Aphids also have many natural enemies that can be encouraged into the garden. See: Organic methods for dealing with greenfly – and killing aphids


Moles are perhaps less common, but, when they do strike they can really spoil any lawn. and border. They don’t do much damage to plants. There main problem is the unsightly mounds created in lawns and borders. See: Controlling moles in the garden.

Cats / Dogs

In include cats and dogs here because they can be a bit of nuisance in my local back garden. Generally, they like to do their business around the garden, probably staking out the territory. They can also squash plants, but, the main problem is the smelly and unpleasant residue they leave around. Deterring cats is not so easy.

Pigeons / Birds

Pigeons and other birds can do a lot of damage to Brassica crops. If not careful, they can decimate a crop. The easiest and most effective solution is netting to keep them covered. Birds can also help themselves to too much fruit, so if you are a serious fruit grower, you may want a proper bird cage.

See: Protecting veg from birds and Rabbits


Caterpillars of course metamorphose into beautiful butterflies, but, when you see your prize cabbages decimated by a collection of caterpillars, you are less than pleased. Netting may help prevent the laying of eggs. On a small scale you might be able to pick off. Otherwise spraying may be necessary.

See: Controlling caterpillars

Red Spider Mite

Fine small insect which thrives in hot dry greenhouses. See: Controlling red spider mite

Clumsy Gardeners & Friends
Accidents will happen and they always happen to prized plants not weeds. Most gardeners have pulled out the wrong plant or been injudicious with sprays. Wayward secateurs or just knowing a bud at the wrong time can turn a helpful gardener into a clumsy pest.



5 thoughts on “Common Garden Pests

  1. What about deer? They wreak more havoc than all of the rest combined!

  2. Very chuffed with the tip about slugs/snails…a pot of coffee in a spray bottle. seems to be an absolute glut of the pesky things this year!

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