Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:30 am
Location: Sydney

Ornamental and Vege Pests

Six weeks ago I moved into a new place in Sydney and immediately set about planting flowers raised from seed in newly dug garden beds. Everything is growing, but there's some pest damage that's affected a good portion of the less mature plants. I'd just like some help identifying the actual threats from the various insects I've spotted during the night, as well as some advice in dealing with them separately or collectively. Apologies for the poor focus in some of these photos - difficult to resolve image quality under a floodlight on such small subjects. Click to enlarge for some of the bugs that are harder to spot.


Dahlia Pompon
Dahlia Pompon
Tomato [centre bottom along the stem line]
There's also some whitefly on the undersides of my hollyhock leaves.

User avatar
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Re: Ornamental and Vege Pests

I can't tell about all of them, but most of the holes look like slug or snail damage. You will never see them in the daytime, but if you come out late at night with a flashlight, check undersides of leaves and leaf joints, you will likely find them.

Here's a thread with some information about slug control:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... ol#p364293

(snails would be the same)

Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2015 8:30 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Ornamental and Vege Pests

Thanks a lot for the reply. I have seen snails and slugs around in general, but didn't catch any the night I checked. Regardless I'll probably lay out some pellets.

Posts: 12598
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:32 am
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Re: Ornamental and Vege Pests

You can also check them just around sunrise. I can't find many at night either, I have better luck early in the morning when I can see better. The leaves do look like the work of slugs and snails. You can use slug bait, or beer traps, or a coarse board that you wet down and prop one end on a brick in a shady spot. Put a lettuce leaf under the board for bait. Check under the board in the morning. The slugs and snails will go under the board to hide.

The white butterfly with the black spot on the wing is a cabbage butterfly. It will lay eggs on the cabbage family and the cabbage worms will make holes in the leaves -- use Bt or net the plants to prevent the butterfly from laying.

I think I see aphids on one of the plants, it is out of focus. But , the big bug may be a lacewing that eats them.

There is a fly on the other leaf. I cannot tell what kind of fly it is. There are actually good flies like the tachinid fly, or it could be a leaf miner fly. You will be able to tell if you see squigly trails in the leaf, then just squish the larva bump at the end of the trail.

Return to “Flower Gardening & Garden Design”