Garden plagues and pestilence | Love The Garden

Garden plagues and pestilence

Geoff Hodge's picture
By Geoff Hodge, Botanical Expert (BSc, MCIHort)

Scarlet Lily Beetle
Scarlet Lily Beetle
The cold, dreary start to the year didn’t have a positive effect on plants, gardens and gardeners, but it did have one benefit - it was too cold for pests!

However, now that we’ve had some periods of hot and dry weather, these pests have woken from their slumbers and are hungry - hungry for your plants! I've had lots of reports from gardeners whose plants are suffering from mass aphid attacks, lilies devastated by lily beetles, swarms of whitefly and armies of caterpillars.

Pest-free policies

I try to walk around my garden every couple of days on the look out for problems with my plants, looking for insect pests and distorted and discoloured leaves showing the first signs of a pest or disease attack. Most pests breed like, well I was going to say rabbits, but actually pests breed faster than rabbits. One aphid can by the end of the year become millions, each vine weevil beetle (they’re all females, there are no male vine weevils) can lay up to 1,000 eggs per year.

If you find one aphid you can squash it before it becomes millions and becomes a problem. One rose leaf suffering from blackspot can be carefully removed and destroyed before it spreads to the rest of the plant.

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to pest and disease control.

Protect your plants

If you don’t like squashing pests, or you find that you’ve got a major pest outbreak, or your roses are suffering from an attack of blackspot or your clematis has mildew, then you may want to use a pesticide to stop these becoming a major problem and seriously affecting your plants.

BugClear for Fruit & Veg is a contact insecticide and will kill any soft-bodied pests it touches. BugClear Ultra also has a contact action, but it is systemic so moves inside the plant protecting it from further attacks. It is also effective against otherwise hard to kill insect pests, such as scale insects.

FungusClear Ultra has a systemic action and will protect plants from fungal diseases.

RoseClear Ultra is a combined systemic insecticide and fungicide.

So, don’t let pests and diseases get out of control and ruin your plants and your enjoyment of your garden. Be on guard, check over your plants and deal with any pest and disease outbreaks promptly. Your plants will thank you for it.


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