How to deal with winter moth caterpillars

November 25, 2010 0 comments

Garden and greenhouse enthusiasts who notice that the leaves of their deciduous trees have holes in them may have a problem with winter moth caterpillars.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the little creatures can come out in force in spring and eat massive chunks out of greenery.

Apple, pear, plum and cherry trees are particularly at risk, with ornamental trees such as oak, sycamore, hornbeam, hawthorns, hazels and others also a favourite of the insects.

As well as holes in the leaves, new greenery is usually loosely bound together with silk threads and the damage is most notable in summer when the leaves are fully expanded.

Blossoms and developing fruitlets can also be damaged by the moths, with apples showing deep clefts by the time they reach maturity.

Using a sticky grease band around the trunk and tree stake in autumn helps to reduce egg-laying and horticulture lovers can pick these up at most garden centres.

Those who wish to take a more hard-line chemical approach can apply deltamethrin or lambda cyhalothrin shortly after bud burst to help get rid of the caterpillars.

In other news, the RHS has revealed that its Garden Wisley site hosted a Guinness world record-breaking number of conker matches last month.

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