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all over south London, caused by caterpillars of the tiny moth Cameraria ohridella. Sure enough, the maple was growing right next door to a horse-chestnut so heavily attacked that it had browned prematurely for autumn.It turns out that this recent
hand, the caterpillars of the rose sawfly, Arge pagana, shredded whole branches a few years ago so I waged war with a pair of narrow tweezers, squishing each one I came across.
the spiky black orange and white caterpillars, but I expect them to be around shortly.
, where birds such as sparrows can hunt for caterpillars and garden pests. A clean bird bath provides them with water to drink and clean their feathers (which enables them to insulate themselves against the cold).There’s nothing like that in my garden
jam) and watched the ladybirds stumbling around like the bride's uncle at a wedding reception. I also wandered off to the vegetable garden and sneered at the caterpillars on the kale leaves.And now, as I sit here in my office there is a large and noisy
, stilt-like legs and stiff T-shaped stance. I think it’s most likely the common bindweed plume, Emmelina monodactyla. I’ve got the tiny caterpillars chewing the bindweed leaves in my garden.There are about 40 UK plume-moth species, but as my colleague
, but the larvae, with their larger than expected size and strange almost caterpillar-like scuttling habit, are more likely to be incorrectly identified. All too often people tell me they have squashed them, believing them to be garden pests, when in fact
. They are in desperate need of some good PR. Having spent the last four or five months diligently, but rather secretively, helping the gardener by eating caterpillars, aphids, flies and other insects, now is the time they start making a nuisance of themselves around
the small golfball-sized embryo nest with its 15-20 cells in a single paper comb. After she has laid her first 15-20 eggs in these, she must forage for caterpillars, flies, aphids and other insects to feed to the grubs that hatch.This is a vulnerable time
attractive to butterflies and moths. If left to seed, it will naturalise all over the garden.Verbena bonariensisThis climbing evergreen provides a supply of nectar and pollen until late November. Holly blue caterpillars also feed on its leaves, while many