Garden insect pest identification

reed aphids image by Adrian Hillman from

A variety of insect pest species cause problems in a garden. The damage they create affects leaves, fruits, and flowers, and will deplete the overall output of garden plants and vegetables. Identification of garden insect pests is helpful in fighting their infestations.


Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that are usually less than 6 millimetres long. They are identified by their pear-shaped bodies and long antennae. They also have a pair of cornicles (tubelike appendages) that run down the length of the body toward the posterior of this insect pest. Aphid colours are brown, purple, black, green, and yellow.

Potato Beetle

The Colorado potato beetle is perhaps the most pervasive of potato and tomato pests. Adults are recognised by their round, black and tan striped bodies. The larvae have reddish-orange bodies with black spots, and the eggs are seen as clusters of yellow, oblong groupings on leaves.


A variety of scale insects (so-called because they resemble fish scales when grouped together) invade a garden. One species of this insect pest is oval-shaped, brown in colour, and grows to about 3 millimetres in length. They are generally found on the underside of leaves and on the stems of garden plants.