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Problem Solver

Have you got some form of pest or disease plaguing your garden or home? To the untrained eye this can be a daunting task. No need to worry, we’re experts at this, so you don’t have to be. We’ll help you identify exactly what pest it is and how to manage it.

Ants

Found around foodstuffs and water. Hide in warm, dark places.


Small, dark-brown insects

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Bedbugs

Lives in bedding. Can survive for up to a year with no blood.


Oval insect with flat body that feeds on blood.

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Crickets

Commonly found in fields or gardens, where they feed on a variety of plants. Indoors they can feed on fabric, such as cotton, linen, silk, and wool.


Insects with a 12-18 mm long cylindrical body, dark brown to black. Rounded wings almost cover their bodies.

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Cockroaches

Found around foodstuffs. Hides in warm, dark places.


German, American and Oriental species from light to dark brown (5-50 mm). Eggs are laid in capsules that hatch in two weeks. Become an adult in 6-8 weeks.

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Fleas

Feed on blood and move in between feathers and hair.


Small, flat, light brown insects that jump.

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Flies

Houses, dairies, food processing establishments.


The house fly has a soft tongue hanging from its head and breeds in dung and refuse.

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Fish moths

Feed on glue found in the binders of books, starch, meal, cotton, rayon, and silk.


Silver-grey insects up to 1.5cm long that live for 2-8 years.

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Hide and skin beetle larvae

Clothing, carpets, upholstered furniture and more. They also feed on dead insects, hides, milled products, pet food, crumbs, lint, felt and soiled clothing.


Measure 4 to 5 mm in length and have coarse hairs on their bodies. They are generally carrot shaped to oval-shaped and brown to tan in colour, with white and tan stripes.

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Hornets

Social insects that form colonies inside nests up to about 30 cm across. Commonly found in roof spaces or within cavities in walls or trees. Forage on a wide range of foods including flying insects, nectar and other sweet foodstuffs.


Distinctive black and yellow colouration. Narrow waist between thorax and abdomen. Very similar to the German wasp, but lacks the three distinctive dots at front of head.

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Lice – Poultry

Poultry, birds, coops and humans.


Small (less than 1mm long) mites with 8 legs, very mobile. Oval in shape with a sparse covering of short hair. Semi-transparent in colour until blood has been digested when they appear reddish.

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Mosquitoes

Feed on blood; carriers of malaria and yellow fever.


Long, thin insects with wings that make a distinctive sound.

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Rats and mice

In areas of foodstuffs.


Rodents that nibble everything to keep the length of their fast-growing front teeth under control.

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Spiders

Indoors and outdoors, mostly in corners, cracks and crevasses.


Spiders have eight legs (four pairs), no wings and antennae, but vary in size, shape and colour.

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Termites (Subterranean)

Termites are attracted by their primary food source: cellulose. They often infest buildings and damage lumber, wood panels, flooring, wallpaper, and paper products. They have the ability to cause serious structural damage and, in the worst cases, total collapse of the building.


Commonly referred to as ‘white ants’. Worker termites are tiny soft-bodied creatures, and whitish or creamy in colour, therefore given the nickname ‘white ants’. Soldier termites have larger armoured heads, with protruding jaws that look like pincers, which can be orange, brown, yellow or red in colour and are used to crush intruders. Swarmers are winged termites and usually swarm during daylight. Their wings are brownish grey, and front wings are larger than hind wings.

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Ticks

Lawns, plants and pets.


Small, red-brown in colour, and lacking any ornamentation. Although not sufficient for formal identification, it can be recognised by its red-brown, elongated body shape.

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Wood borer

Found in any wooden structure or furniture. Fine sawdust coming out of small holes in the wood is typically the first sign of the presence of wood borer larvae. The dust has a gritty feel to it.


Black or brown with greyish ‘hair’ on upper bodies and wing cases, and shiny spots that resemble eyes. Only the larvae feed on the wood. Larvae take 2-3 years to mature, depending on the moisture content of the wood. Larvae usually mature in spring, and the mature adults then cut holes 6-10 mm in diameter to exit the wood. Adults are most active in summer.

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American bollworm

Feeds on fruit and leaves of fruit trees and other plants.


Black to brownish green with a dirty white strip along the sides.

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Ants

Ant nests may occur in household or garden areas. Apply surface sprays indoors and in shaded garden areas. Effective control can be achieved by pouring pesticide down entrance to nest.


There are several different types of ants, all of which live in colonies, commonly in and around homes.

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Aphids

Commonly found in small colonies on leaves and new growth. Sap feeders, resulting in leaves that curl, and retarded growth.


Small, soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects, usually green or black in colour.

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Army worm

Lawns, pastures and vegetables


Yellowish or brownish green with a tan or greenish-brown head mottled with darker brown. The smooth, hairless body is marked with three dark longitudinal stripes, one along each side and one down the back. A full-grown army worm is 30-35 mm long.

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Astylus beetle

Damages blooms and prevents fruit or flower formation.


Medium-sized yellow beetle with black spots. Active during mid to late summer. Feeds mainly on pollen.

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Australian bug

Found on growth points and leaf arteries. Sap feeding, resulting in retarded growth and eventual death of plant.


Soft, scaly insect with large egg sac of ribbed white wax.

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Chafer beetle (Christmas beetle)

Burrows into ground during daytime. Feeds on young leaves and flower petals.


Medium-sized, shiny brown, night-flying beetle.

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CMR beetle

Feeds mainly on flower petals, adversely affecting flower and fruit formation.


Small to large beetle with yellow and black bands across wing covers.

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Cochineal

Found on leaves of prickly pear plants. Sap feeding, causing leaves to wither and fall off.


Small pink insect, covered with a white waxy layer.

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Codling moth

Eggs are laid on young fruit and leaves. Larvae burrow into fruit, causing rotten patches. Treat after approximately 75 % of the blossoms have dropped off.


Dark grey moth.Larvae are pink with a brown head at maturity.

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Crickets

Burrow into lawns, especially in shady areas where soil is damp. Feed on seedlings, roots and tubers. Results in bare patches in lawns.


Dark grey to black in various sizes.

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Cutworm

Found in upper 2-5 cm of soil, especially among young plants. Cuts the stems of young plants just below soil surface (hence the name cutworm). Active at night.


Dirty-grey, hairless worms.

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Fruit fly

Lay eggs in fruit (sting). Infected fruits infested with white maggots.


Medium-sized flies, usually brightly coloured.

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Whitefly

Commonly found on the underside of leaves. Swarm when disturbed. Sap feeding, resulting in retarded growth.


Small four-winged insects, covered in fine white powder.

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Grasshoppers

They mostly feed on leaves, but also flowers, soft stems and seed.


Colour is usually a combination of brown, grey or green.

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Harvester termites

Underground colonies. Deposit small mounds of loose soil around entrance to nests. Cut and harvest grass, carrying it into nests. Can ruin lawns and gardens.


White or light brown termites, 10 mm long with dark brown head.

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Lawn caterpillar

Lives below the soil surface in lawn areas. Feeds on lawn blades, causing large yellow patches. Active at night.


Greenish-brown caterpillar.

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Leaf miner

Found on some vegetables and ornamentals.


Larvae tunnel within the leaf tissue forming the characteristic mines, then cut a semi-circular opening in the tissue and drop to the soil to pupate.

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Lily borer

Larvae tunnel into the leaves (borer). Young feed in groups, adults move towards the base of leaves and may even feed on bulbs. Control between September and April.


Larvae have distinctive yellow and black bands around the body.

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Loopers

Found on all plants. Feeds on fruit and leaves of plants.


Green caterpillars identified by characteristic ‘looping’ of body.

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Mealy bug

Found on tender new growth. Sap feeding, causing plants to wither.


Small, oval-shaped, light pink stationary insects with white waxy thread.

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Mole cricket

Found mostly in lawns.


Thick-bodied insects about 3-5 cm long, with large beady eyes and shovel-like forelimbs highly developed for burrowing and swimming.

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Pumpkin fly

Attacks members of the pumpkin family. Eggs laid beneath the skin. Creamy white, legless maggots tunnel into fruit, causing it to rot and fall off.


Similar to fruit flies.

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Red spider mite

Found on the underside of leaves. Mites feed on sap, causing leaves to turn silver, grey and later brown in colour, resulting in rapid deterioration of the plant.


Tiny mite with redbody. A fine web on the underside of leaves typically indicates that red spider mite is present.

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Scale

May occur in a variety of colours including grey, white, reddish brown or purple. It may be round or pear-shaped.


May occur in a variety of colours including grey, white, reddish brown or purple. It may be round or pear-shaped.

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Snails and slugs

Active under damp conditions. Feed on young, succulent growth.


Brown or grey in color. Snails carry a shell, slugs do not. Leave shiny trails.

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Stalkborer

Found in maize, sorghum and sweetcorn.


Caterpillars are light or dark violet to pinkish-white in colour, often with a distinctive grey tinge. On hatching, caterpillars are blackish.

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Thrips

Damage foliage, fruit and flowers.


Tiny, slender insects with four oar-like wings, fringed with long hair. Seldom seen with the naked eye.

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Bur Clover

Lawns & paving


Bur clover is a summer annual weed. Stems can be up to 60 cm long and tend to trail along the ground, but may grow upright. The trifoliate leaves resemble those of clover and usually have reddish-tinged mid-veins. Small, bright yellow flowers form in clusters at the end of stems. The first true leaf is rounded with a single leaflet. Later leaves have the characteristic clover like shape.

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Common dubbeltjie

Lawns & paving


Blooms with small yellow flowers containing only five petals. Grows with multiple stems that spring out from one crown. The fruit appears a week after blooming and seeds are firm and stiff, with two sharp spines 10 mm long.

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Creeping sorrel

Lawns & paving


A creeping perennial that is typically about 10 cm tall, though stems can grow up to 50 cm long. The green or reddish stems are slender and hairy, and stems that trail on the ground will root at stem joints. Leaves are often purplish and are borne alternately along the stem at the end of long stalks. Leaves consist of three heart-shaped leaflets with hairy undersides. Leaves will fold down around the stem at night or when the plant is stressed. One to five bright yellow, five-petalled flowers occur in clusters at the tips of the stalks. Flowers produce elongated, lantern-shaped seedpods, which are long, green, hairy and five-angled. Each seedpod holds 10-50 seeds.

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Annual Grasses

Paving


Normally perennial, forming thick mats by means of stolons and rhizomes. The leaf blade is flattened with a sharp tip, and can be hairy or glabrous (hairless).

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Khaki Weed

Lawns & paving


Prostrate herb with perennial root system and annual above-ground growth. Taproot often large and woody. Stems silky hairy.

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Onion Weed

Paving


Grass-like perennial to 60cm, with a strong garlic smell. Bulbs have 10-15 mm diameter, with offset bulbs. Leaves are 2-5 cm, linear, fleshy, keeled, 20-60 cm long, with white papery sheaths. Usually die back in late spring. Flower stalk three-sided, 20-60 cm high, fleshy, soft, sheathed by leaves at base. Flowers bell-shaped, 10-15 mm long, five petalled, white with green stripe on petals

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Clover

Lawns & paving


A perennial with trifoliate leaves, stems that root at the nodes, and white flowers. White clover is often planted in pasture and forage mixes, but also occurs as a weed in lawns, turf grass, landscapes, and orchards.

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Cosmos

Lawns & paving


A showy daisy flower that is popular in gardens but tends to escape as a weed. Flowers are large, up to 8 cm in diameter, solitary (one per stem) and red, white, pink or purple, all with prominent yellow centres. Leaves are very fine and fern-like.

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Dandelion

Lawns & paving


The dandelion has a thick, fleshy taproot, with many branched crowns and milky juice. Stem is very short and wholly underground, producing leaves at the ground surface. Flower heads are golden-yellow and 2.5-5 cm in diameter, with yellow ray flowers, borne on a long, hollow stalk.

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Grass in paving

Paving


Normally perennial, forming thick mats by means of stolons and rhizomes. The stems (culms) take root at the lower nodes. The leaf blade is flattened with a sharp tip, and can be hairy or glabrous (hairless). The leaf sheath is round and glabrous; the ligule has a ring of hairs or a short membrane.

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Black Spot


Black spots with yellow borders on older leaves. Leaves turn yellow and fall off. Continue spraying weekly until the fungus is controlled. Preventative treatment is advised.

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Brown Patch


Blades pull loose easily from the runners. Blades of the lawn are dying in a circular area. Small spots in lawn grow into large circles or free forms that look bad and weaken the turf but rarely kill the grass.

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Powdery Mildew


Greyish-white powdery growth on younger parts of plants. Causes stunting and shrivelling of leaves.

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Rust

Beans, strawberries and roses are particularly prone to rust.


Red to brown raised spots, usually on undersides of leaves. Causes premature defoliation.

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Pond Aqua-Pro


Efekto Pond Aqua-Pro is a unique blend of natural probiotic microorganisms which are highly effective in consuming and controlling excess nutrients that lead to algae and pollution build-up in small to large water bodies.