PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
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I am having trouble finding a Ditto on Route 218.
Does the PokeRadar have to be used to catch him?

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As you are leaving Canalave City (on route 218) there is a patch of grass just outside the city, you must use the Poke Radar in that grass, and some grass will wiggle. Every now and again there is a slight chance that a ditto will battle you. (12%)
It's not very common, and can take some times to find.

>In Pokemon Diamond, Ditto can be found at Route 218 with Poké Radar having 12% of rarity!

This also works for Pearl but not for Platinum.

Source - Serebii
Hope this helps!

For those of you reading this in the future, Ditto is only in the sparkly grass, not the kind that just gently shakes.