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Keep on top of pesky pests!

Keep on top of pesky pests!

Keep on top of pesky pests!

August 21, 2015

Caterpillars. Aphids. Thrips. Whitefly. Scale insects...the list of little pests that cause us problems in the height of summer goes on.
Blossom weevils. Capsid bugs. Cabbage stem weevil. Lily beetle. Sawfly. Red spider mite…just because we are lurching our way towards the back-end of summer, doesn’t mean we should be ignoring these pesky pests.
They are all quite happy to chomp, munch and breed their way through our gardens, devouring leaves, flowers and fruits as they go.
Caterpillars are one of my most hated foes. Cabbage white caterpillars attack all my brassicas, while codling moth types burrow into my apples. Meanwhile, sawfly caterpillars strip the leaves off my roses and gooseberries overnight.
As for blackfly (aphids) this year has been worse – for me at any rate – than the past few years, so whenever I’ve come across them I’ve blasted them without delay.
Whitefly hasn’t been so much a problem this year on my cabbages, but that is mainly because I jumped on them with a spray as soon as I saw them.
However, both rosemary beetle and lily beetles have been prolific for me in 2015. Thankfully, I got them, too, before they caused too much of a problem. 
There are two important things, I have found, when it comes to pest control. One is vigilance – keep on the look-out, and never let down your guard.
The second, even more important thing, is WRBK – or, ‘When Roses are Bad, Kill!’
Or ‘With Rosemary Beetle – Kaboosh!’
Or even, ‘Why Risk Battered Kale?’
These are just flights of fancy though, for WRBK really stands for Westland Resolva Bug Killer. It’s the one spray I make sure I never run out of because (and get this!) it will tackle every one of the pests I’ve mentioned above, and more.

Final tip

For most vegetable gardeners, carrot fly is a devastating pest. It is not so much an issue for me because I have barriers all around my carrots throughout their growing period, and the flies don’t really fly much above 18in (45cm). Westland Resolva Bug Killer – the only approved chemical (to my knowledge) that can be sprayed against this pest – should be applied when the fly is at its adult stage.
Alternatively, sow the carrot variety Gro-Sure ‘Flyaway’ (from Unwins Seeds), or ‘Resistafly’ (from Marshalls Seeds), which are both less susceptible to the pest than other varieties.
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