RHS announces top 10 gardening pests of 2013 – Telegraph.co.uk

Vine weevil is a top five enquiry in most years and 2013 was no exception,
with the pest occupying the number two spot. Vine weevil is one of the few
garden pests capable of killing plants; while the adults cause superficial
damage by eating notches in the leaf margins of a wide range of herbaceous
plants, it is the larvae feeding on roots, especially those grown in pots or
containers, that prove fatal for plants.

The grubs of vine weevil munch their way through entire root systems

Other pests for which the number of enquiries increased were capsid bugs
(third). In 2013 enquiries reached the highest level for 25 years. Capsid
bugs are highly destructive pests that suck sap from the shoot tips and
flower buds of a wide range of plants, including hydrangea, fuchsia and
roses.

Capsid bug damage on a fuchsia

Other top 10 pests included cushion scale (fifth), glasshouse red
(two-spotted) spider mite (sixth), mealybug (seventh), ants (equal ninth)
and lily beetle (equal ninth).

RHS Senior Entomologist Andrew Salisbury said: ‘If damp weather continues
through 2014, it is likely that slugs will remain the number one pest.
However, it will depend on weather conditions for the rest of the year – if
the spring and summer is dry, slug/snail activity will drop, and they may
not be number one when we collate the data at the end of the year.”

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