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15 messages
16/07/2013 at 19:04

Hi,

My polytunnel is infested with thousands, and I do mean thousands of caterpillars.

I have netted the doors and have only ever found one moth in the tunnel this year.

There are precious few butterflies in the garden.

I don't understand where they are all coming from. They have decimated the peas and killed the whole crop, the brasica as you would expect are taking a pounding and I have to check them over daily, each time removing dozens from each plant.

Just went out now to pick parsley & it's totaly covered from head to toe in the critters.

Can anyone suggest where them may be coming from & how I can stop them!

Thanks

Sarah

16/07/2013 at 19:21

I can remember one year planting Kale for the first time. And I have to say, I've never in all the years of gardening seen just how many caterpillars covered my garden that year - they were even coming into the shed. Everything was ruined and covered with the critters, so I blamed Curly Kale and of course, the Cabbage white.

Anyone planted kale near you ?

16/07/2013 at 19:38

No other veg growers within 1/4 mile, I'm not finding eggs on underside of leaves either! I'm beginning to think that they are hatching out elsewhere & crawling in, however most are tiny so it would be one hell of a walk, and over cockle shell paths!

16/07/2013 at 19:39

It's the year of the caterpillar i think.

16/07/2013 at 19:41

Any chance of a photo?  While many of them do look the same, it might help to identify what they are.

KEF
16/07/2013 at 19:48

I wonder if caterpillar eggs have / can survive over the winter ( go dormant ? ) if in conditions like a p tunnel. Other wise you've had one active butterfly. Soz for position you find yourself in.

16/07/2013 at 20:06

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/27665.jpg?width=567&height=350&mode=max

 Here's one of the little blighters.

16/07/2013 at 20:58

Could be a small Angle Shades

http://www.irishmoths.net/pages-moth/m-2305.html

 

16/07/2013 at 21:14

Looks like a caterpillar of the Small White (those of the the Large White has much more distinctive markings.)  The Small White lays single eggs so could have dotted them all over the place and so they are difficult to spot.  A favourite place is on the 2 small 'lobes' at the base of each cabbage leaf.  Other than picking them off, I'm not sure what can be done at this stage, but you do have my sympathies as I had a similar problem a few year ago when I netted my outdoor brassicas but slightly too late - all the net then did was make picking them all off extremely difficult!

 

16/07/2013 at 21:42

Thanks, I will have to add caterpillar patrol to the existing slug patrol. I think I will need to give up the day job!

There is a frog living under the parsley so I am attemped to knock the caterpillars off in the hope that he will tuck in to the food falling from the sky. I can live in hope!

16/07/2013 at 21:45

One of the disadvantages of growing in a polytunnel is that the bluetits won't be going in there to eat your caterpillars - ours are eating every creepy crawly they can find in the garden. 

17/07/2013 at 16:04

I think the moth is the most likely culprit, seen one of them in the tunnel a few weeks ago and we are surrounded by bracken which according to the link kindly sent by marshmello says is their first choice food.

Would also explain why they prefer the parsley to the sprouts!

18/07/2013 at 06:45
Briggsy wrote (see)

Thanks, I will have to add caterpillar patrol to the existing slug patrol. I think I will need to give up the day job!

There is a frog living under the parsley so I am attemped to knock the caterpillars off in the hope that he will tuck in to the food falling from the sky. I can live in hope!

That's probably why froggie is lurking under the parsley - he'll be perfectly capable of reaching those caterpillars 

18/07/2013 at 11:03

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/27746.jpg?width=277&height=350&mode=max

 Can anyone identify these for me please? They are ravaging my roses and I'm sure they've doubled in size since I took these yesterday! I`ve seen posts about sawfly, have no idea what they are! If that's what these are, do I get rid? If they're butterflies, will put up with them!

I also have a massive slug/snail problem but it's a "woodland" garden with a lot of shade! Any alternative suggestions to slug pelets please?

 

18/07/2013 at 11:05

http://s4.gardenersworld.com/uploads/images/original/27751.jpg?width=324&height=350&mode=max

 Typical! The pic of the culprits didn't upload, or will appear again!!!!

 

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