How to - Pests & Diseases

To keep your garden healthy, be on the lookout for these bad bugs

Aphids (Aphididae)
Description: Small, soft-bodied adults, colours vary from pink and green to black
Damage: Feed on sap in shoots, leaves, buds and flowers, which causes distortion and cupping; watch for honeydew secretions
Host: Many hosts
Region: Canada-wide

Birch leaf miner (Fenusa pusilla)   
Description: Flat-looking larvae; adult sawfly is small and black, about 3.7 mm long
Damage: Larvae feed inside foliage, which turns leaves brown
Host: Birch trees
Region: Canada-wide

Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata)
Description: Reddish orange-and-black larvae; yellowish orange-and-black-striped beetle
Damage: Foliage is stripped right down to the leaf veins   
Host: Prefers potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant
Region: Canada-wide

Crucifer flea beetle (Phyllotreta cruciferae  
Description: Metallic blue-black adult beetle   
Damage: Feeds on leaves, leaving shot-hole appearance
Host: Cole crops and other crucifers, radishes and turnips
Region: Canada-wide

Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar)
Description: Black, brown and red larvae
Damage: Defoliation of deciduous and coniferous trees
Host: Many
Region: Ontario to Eastern Canada

Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica)
Description: White, C-shaped larval grubs; metallic green and copper beetle 
Damage:Larvae feed on roots; adults feed on foliage and flowers
Host: Turfgrass roots; adult beetles attack many hosts
Region: Southern Ontario to Eastern Canada

Spider mite (Prostigmata)    
Description: Microscopic; colours vary, from yellow or tan to green
Damage: Feeds on leaf sap; watch for speckling or bronze leaf colour    
Host: Many hosts
Region: Canada-wide

Red lily leaf beetle (Lilioceris lilii)
Description: Orange-brown to black larvae covered in excrement; adult beetle is bright red
Damage: Larvae do the most damage by defoliating plants
Host: Lilies, fritillaries, Solomon’s seal, some nightshade species (Solanum spp.), tobacco plant (Nicotiana cvs.) & others; eggs laid only on lilies and fritillaries
Region: Southern Alberta to Eastern Canada

Scale insects (many species)
Description: Soft-bodied with waxy covering in white, brown or grey
Damage: Large colonies of microscopic “crawler young” feed on sap
Host: Many
Region: Canada-wide

Spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana)   
Description: Light to dark brown larvae   
Damage: Defoliation
Host: Spruce and other conifers
Region: Canada-wide

Read more in How to and Pests & Diseases

  • Page 1: Banish bad bugs from your yard

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