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Pests on Annuals

Select the pest from the images below for more information:

AphidsFlea BeetlesSlugs






Spider MitesSpittle BugsStink BugsThrips







Plants affected:  Numerous indoor and outdoor plants

Symptoms:  Severe infestations will cause curling/twisting of foliage, flowers to wilt and drop.

Life Cycle:  Eggs hatch on host plants in spring, these nymphs give birth to ‘daughters’, within days the daughters give birth - up to 30 generations per summer

Cultural Control:
• Ladybird beetles/larvae, lacewings are natural predators
• Strong jet of water to knock aphids off plants

Chemical Control:
Doktor Doom House and Garden, End All, Ambush

Flea Beetles

Flee BeetlesFlee BeetlesPlants affected:  Numerous perennials and annuals

Symptoms:  Numerous holes in foliage, about the size of a pinhead

Life Cycle:  Overwinter in soil beneath leaf debris, emerge in spring. Adults feed on foliage, mate and lay eggs

Cultural Control:  Clean up leaf debris and weeds in autumn

Chemical Control:  Spray adult beetles in spring before they lay eggs; Ambush, Dr. Doom House and Garden


SlugsSlug TrailPlants affected:  Perennials, annuals

Symptoms:  Ragged holes chewed in leaves, slime trails on leaves

Life Cycle:
Overwinter as eggs in soil
• Hermaphrodite; every slug can lay eggs. Eggs laid in batches of 10-50 in moist soil.

Cultural Control:
Till soil to disturb eggs, expose eggs to natural predators
Spread diatomaceous earth or other gritty substances under plant leaves
Spread iron based slug pellets (Sluggo or Safer’s) at base of plants, under foliage
Beer traps; dishes filled with beer, set at soil level, may attract and drown slugs

 Chemical Control:  Metaldehyde based pellets

Spider Mites

Spider MitesSpider MitesPlants affected:  Numerous indoor and outdoor plants

Stippling—tiny dots in foliage
Yellowing of foliage—’haze’ on foliage

Life Cycle:
Can overwinter in various stages under debris or bark on host plants, in greenhouses
Become active in spring as foliage emerges

Cultural Control:
• Lacewings are natural predators
Keep plants misted (they prefer dry conditions)
Fall debris cleanup

Chemical Control:  End All, Doktor Doom House and Garden, Ambush

Spittle Bugs

Spittle BugsSpittle BugsPlants affected:  Numerous annuals and perennials

Symptoms:  Spit’ on plant—bug is hidden underneath the foam

Life Cycle:
Eggs overwinter on plant material, hatch in spring, nymphs feed on plants
Adults lay eggs in late summer

Cultural Control:  Spray plants with strong jet of water

Chemical Control:  Not necessary

Stink Bugs

Stink BugsPlants Affected:  Numerous; trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals

Various forms/colours will be seen—will generally have a large triangular plate on their back
Omit foul smelling substance when disturbed

Life Cycle:  Adults overwinter in plant debris/in soil. Emerge May-June, eggs are laid in June-July, from egg to adult takes about 25 days

Though found in large #’s, rarely cause damage to the extent that warrants spraying with insecticide
Actually a predator of Colorado potato beetles. Each nymph can consume over 250 eggs


ThripsThripsPlants affected:  Numerous indoor and outdoor plants

Symptoms:  White blotches or streaks on foliage/blooms – damage is the size/shape of a ‘hyphen’

Life Cycle:
Adults overwinter in plant debris, on weeds or under bark, in greenhouses
Become active in spring, cut slits in foliage or blooms and lay eggs.

Cultural Control:  Good fall cleanup of debris and weeds

Chemical Control:  End All, Doktor Doom House and Garden, Ambush