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Pond Pests

I build a new pond this summer and added all new plants.  I had an infestation of beige coloured creatures the size of a pin head at most which multiplied into thousands and happily munched on all my plants especially the water lilly.  I changed the water completly and cleaned it, replantsed with mainly new plants and they have come back. Does anyone know what they are and how to deal with them.  Establishing anything is becoming a real problem, any help would really be appreciated.



  • Hi Kate, I'm no pond expert so it is going to be difficult to guess exactly what you have there.  I don't think emptying and refilling will ever work.  What you need to do is let the pond reach a natural balance so that the thousands of different natural pond flora and fauna will keep each other under control.  If you know anyone with a healthy pond, you could speed up that process by taking a bucket of water from it (include some silt from the bottom) and adding that to your pond which will introduce a wide range of them.  Adding a few pond fish and/or frogspawn will likely help too.

    Just my tuppence worth! image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Sound like Daphnia to me - daphnia are goodies - they don't eat plants but feed on the algae that collect on the surface of water plants and are food for lots of other pondlife.   Don't know what the problem with the plants is, but it won't be the daphnia.



    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348

    Is it only planting in the pond  that's being eaten or on the edges as well? If you're rural, rabbits will do a lot of damage to plants on the edges and ones they can reach in the water. Visiting ducks will too. As Bob said- it'll take a little while for a balance to be achieved in the water so emptying is not the solution. Wildlife will start to appear and help you out as time goes by image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • izzy8izzy8 Posts: 147

    Is your pond big enough for some fish? They will feed on the daphnia.

  • I wish they "daphnia" would just appear in my pond, they are like dovefromabove says "goodies". they are good as a food source for fish, filtering water, etc. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,350

    you're along way from me 2 ponds or you could bring a bucket round and help yourself.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,123

    The only creatures who will readily eat water lilies are snails and glass worms. Glass worms are really as described small transparent worms which will be on the underside of the lily pads.

    Other non waterborne creatures will eat your lilies but what you describe is daphnia.

    To get rid of glass worms you will have to clean under the lily pads, or put some sticklebacks in or gold fish.

    Getting the natural balance right is essential, so a pond if for wildlife will not come into its own for a few months at least.

    Natural predators dragon/damsel larvea will predate on any imbalance.

    Its best to leave any pond for at least a month before introducing fish, this lets the natural cycle start and eggs to be laid.

  • Thank you to all who have replied.  Sorry for the delay in responding but early winter  is manic here. The creatures are like headlice in size and are quite happy living in there still, they do look a bit like the picture above. I have just found a frog in another small water feature so I will encourage that in and replant the area.  They were happily munching on the leaf litter and colonising the lilies so fingers crossed

    Thank you all again

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