Register with us or sign in
. The first is relatively straightforward: the mullein moth caterpillar. These are stripy chaps that start quite skinny, but rapidly become as fat as witchity grubs by eating verbascum leaves at a terrifying rate. I grow the gorgeous Verbascum bombyciferum
-proof I'm told), a very sticky glue card plus a specific phermone capsule. This sex pheromone provides the lure to attract male moths to an untimely end, hopefully before they've done the deed with any female moths. No mating...no eggs...no grubs inside
the tubers being eaten away by vine weevil grubs. None of my begonias has survived. Next autumn I'll remember to empty out the pots, clean up the tubers, and store them in clean dry compost for winter instead.
in Britain.Unlike the sawfly, which feeds on the leaves, the grubs of the picture-wing fly develop in the small berberry fruits. Having seen bushes weighed down with berries in autumn, I've often wondered why the fly has not been more widely seen. A very
it beside its smaller relative: the lesser stag beetle, Dorcus parallelipipedus. Like the 'true' stag beetle, Lucanus cervus, it has grubs that feed in fallen logs, but it reaches adulthood in only one or two years, rather than three to seven. Neither sex
and sour-tasting berries. This latter is the more famous tree, however, because (as every schoolchild knows) it provides about the only food that a silkworm will tolerate. The grubs feed on the mulberry leaves before wrapping themselves into cocoons made
fighting back. The eggs hatch and the ichneumon grubs then eat the insect alive, from the inside. Although they are amongst the most important of biological control agents, they are incredibly poorly studied; the few identification guides are highly