Insect pests of vegetables

Page last updated: Monday, 4 April 2016 - 4:16pm

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

Other pests

Snails and slugs

These molluscs can attack most crops and chew holes in leaves and kill seedlings. They are most active at night, especially in moist weather. Control is especially important in April and May when the adults lay eggs.

Brown garden snail on a cabbage leaf.
Garden snail.

Slaters, snails and slugs may be controlled with baits that contain methiocarb or metaldehyde. A copper silicate spray used on plants will repel the pests. Do not expose baits to children or pets.

For further information, including a recipe for organic baits, refer to the article snail and slug control.


Slaters or woodlice are small crustaceans that hide in damp situations in the garden. Slaters feed on organic matter, but at high densities they can damage new seedlings and ripe fruit such as melons, strawberries and the roots of pot plants.

Slaters on a piece of timber.
Slaters on a piece of timber.