Pest watch

Left unchecked pests can take over your garden, damaging plants, flowers, fruits and vegetables.
Their effects can be unsightly, if not devastating, because they cause leaves to discolour, flowers to drop prematurely and plants to lose vigour and eventually die.

If left untreated pests will also multiply rapidly, spreading from garden to garden, neighbour to neighbour.

Luckily, there are plenty of options to control pests in your garden, many of them organic and environment friendly. Let’s look at some of the most common garden pests and their treatment including:

  • Aphids
  • Thrips
  • Mites
  • Snails and slugs
  • Scale
  • Lawn grubs

light-bulb-icon@2x.png Controlling pests in the garden


A healthy, well maintained garden is less susceptible to pests and diseases.

However, occasionally an uninvited pest may decide to make your garden its home.

Treated quickly, you can prevent it pest from becoming a real problem.


Prevention is always better than cure. Here are our tips to help prevent pests:

1. Keep plants healthy
Healthy plants are more stronger and resilient, so are less likely to be targeted by pests than weak or damaged plants.

2. Remove weeds. Weeds are havens for pests and some are also 'host' plants in the lifecycles of some flying insects.They also compete with your plants for nutrients and moisture.

Controlling weeds not only removes possible shelter for insects but may also interrupt their breeding habits.

Mulch to reduce the incidence of weeds and remove any weeds that do grow either by hand or with a targeted herbicide like RoundUp Gel

3. Encourage good insects and birds to the garden by:

  • Planting bee friendly plants like lavenders, daisies, marigolds, Queen Anne’s lace, cosmos and echiums.
  • Make water available in the garden for birds, bees and insects. Make sure you have a shallow log or rock for insects to land on.
  • Build an insect hotel out of twigs, sticks and straw. Follow the link for full instructions

light-bulb-icon@2x.png Common pests and how to control them


There is a very long list of common garden pests that can cause havoc in Australian gardens.

A small number are unique to sub tropical and tropical climates, a few will be found only in cooler regions but the majority will be widespread.

These are the most common:

Aphids, thrip, mites and other sucking insects including scale


  • Use a high pressure blast of water from the hose to wash them off
  • Encourage beneficial insects and birds to the garden.
  • Use a low toxicity spray

How we can help:

  • Defender Pyrethrum Insect Spray is safe to use on all plants, including edibles and should be reapplied as often as necessary
  • Defender MaxGuard is a long-lasting residual and systemic spray that will treat a range of garden pests. Do not use it on food plants

Always read labels and the directions on how to use insecticides before applying them to your plants.

Snails and slugs


  • Go outside at night with a torch, pick them off your plants and squash them individually
  • Apply snail pellets in areas where these pests have been seen or where damage is apparent

How we can help:

Lawn pests


  • Try to find the culprit; if you are unsure, treat with a broad spectrum pest control for lawns.

How we can help:

light-bulb-icon@2x.png Protect the good guys


Using sprays and dusts to control harmful pests can also eradicate the good insects like bees and ladybirds that are helping you in your garden.

Always look for low-toxicity, systemic pesticides that do less harm because they specifically target pests eating plants or sucking the sap.

Defender™ MaxGuard is a low-toxicity systemic pesticide that is much kinder to the 'good guys' than many other sprays. Do not use this product on edibles.

To find out more about beneficial insects, visit Good Bugs

Tips, tricks & advice

Top 10 tips to create a beautiful garden

Our 'Top 10' tips and tricks to help you create an amazing garden, including

Read more

How to establish a new garden bed

Step by step guide to establishing new garden beds including:

Read more

Other products you might need

Scotts Lawn Builder™ Grub + Insect Slow Release Lawn Fertiliser

LB G+I.jpg

A 'set and forget' fertiliser solution to having a great lawn all year round, it includes an effective insecticide to control pests that may periodically occur

Defender™ Pyrethrum Insect Spray


Insect pests can cause havoc in the garden, effectively destroying flowering and cropping plants if they're not controlled. Pyrethrum is perfect for use on vegetables and all edibles

Defender™ Snail & Slug Pellets


There's nothing so disappointing as checking on your latest vegetable and flower seedlings to find half of them gone! The usual suspects are snails and slugs. Tried and true Defender pellets will soon have them under control .