Beneficial Insects:

These insects are good for your garden as they act as predators in their larval stage

Common Pests:


Aphids are one of the most common pests you’ll find in the garden.

They are:

  • Small, pebble shaped
  • Black, orange, or green in colour

They suck sugars out of the plant, and they create a sap called ‘honeydew’ which attracts ants. They can come in waves as they have short life spans. They’ll be there one day, and gone the next.

They will not kill the plant, but they are stress the plant out and reduce growth or fruiting.


  • Strong spray of water
  • Removing parts of the plant where there are many
  • Planting companion flowers (nasturtiums are good for this)


Wireworms live in the soil and it can be hard to know that you have them before they start damaging your garden.

They are:

  • Orange and black larvae of the click beetle
  • Have short life spans, about a month, but overwinter in the soil

They love starchy root vegetables like carrots and potatoes, as well as grasses.

If you experience a sudden die off of your seedlings, wireworms may be the cause.

Spread through infected soil. Check the soil and roots of any plants you buy or are given. Once they are introduced, it can be difficult to get rid of them.


  • Till soil regularly so wireworms are then exposed to birds
  • Make a potato trap
    • Cut a potato in half
    • Place cut half onto the soil
    • Check regularly and pick out wireworms
  • Practice crop rotation (don’t plant grasses or root vegetables)

Cabbage Root Fly

As the name suggests, Cabbage Root Fly affects the roots of the cabbage family. This includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, arugula, and cauliflower.

They are:

  • Small white worms as larvae
  • Look like a housefly when adults
  • Adults lay their eggs around the roots of the cabbage family

The larvae eat the roots of the plant, causing the plant to die. They live in the soil and can be difficult to detect. Check all store bought seedling roots before planting.


  • Place collars around the base of seedlings
    • Made out of plastic or cardboard
    • Prevent the flies from laying eggs around the roots
  • Practice crop rotation (don’t plant in any cabbage family in the same area)
  • Dig up the plants and swish the roots in water
  • Wasps are a predatory insect of the root fly
  • Plant root fly resistant varieties like red cabbage

Cabbage Moth & Cabbage worms

Affects the cabbage only. If damage is really severe, the plant may produce.

They are:

  • The cabbage moth or cabbage ‘white’ is the adult form of the cabbage worm
  • Cabbage worms are velvety green with faint yellow stripes
  • The adult moth is a smaller white moth that is often confused with a butterfly

Small holes should not be a worry, but cabbage worms can leave your plants with just a skeleton. Regularly check for eggs or worms.


  • Hand pick off the worms
  • Prevention is much easier than getting rid of them
    • Use floating row cover to deter adults from laying eggs
    • Plant thyme – worms are deterred by the scent
    • Worms are attracted to mustard – allow worms to take over the plant then dispose of the whole plant
  • Plant red varieties – it’s harder for them to camouflage
  • Practice crop rotation

Carrot Rust Fly

Carrot rust fly lives in the soil and preys upon all carrot family varieties. These include carrots, dill, fennel, parsley, and parsnips.

They have very distinct times in the growing season when they are adult and larvae. It is possible to plant to avoid the larvae stage.

They are:

  • A light yellow coloured maggot
  • Adults lay their eggs around the base of the carrot – 1 week later larvae emerge
  • Larvae create tunnels with a rust colour

Damage can lead to wilted tops or a bulbous shape. Tunnels can allow fungus and mold to invade killing the plant.