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of colour to remind us that summer is on its way. They provide insects with nectar, which is essential for feeding them up again after their long winter sleep. There are several spring bulbs which provide food for insects: snowdrop, winter aconite, snake
Sunday has been warm enough to sit outside, in a tee-shirt, so it's not surprising that there are still insects flying about. Today it was flies that caught my eye.Episyrphus balteatus is perhaps the commonest and most distinctive hoverfly
, seem to be around in remarkably similar numbers. In my garden it's business as usual: lily beetles have been feasting on my lilies, while scale insects appear to have increased in number.But where are the aphids? We’re now into mid-July and I
I thought my garden was already quite a haven for mammals, birds and insects, but there is always more you can do for them. With this in mind I've just registered to take part in the RSPB Homes for Wildlife scheme. After answering a few brief
The pointed nail galls are caused by microscopic mites, which overwinter in the bark of lime trees and crawl on to the underside of the foliage in spring to feed. The mites secrete chemicals into the leaves causing them to produce the unusual projections into which the mites move...
Of the black, red and yellow ants that are commonly seen in the garden, only the red ones (from the Myrmica species) sting. Other than that, ants are more of a nuisance than a pest. They feed mostly on insects, including other ants, and honeydew
is not a problem, but in excess the plants will suffer and could even die.Smudges of white, waxy deposits appear at the base of phormium leaves, deposited by sap-feeding insects. The mealybug can cause loss of vigour in the plant and, in extreme cases
Pears ripening on the tree are damaged by wasps excavating holes into the soft, juicy flesh. The holes are initially created by hungry birds, then wasps are attracted by the juice and move in.Pears that are still on the tree display hollowed out cavities, often with wasps still i...
The sap-feeding scale insect Unaspis euonymi is particularly attracted to Euonymus japonica, although it will feast on other evergreen euonymus too. The white males congregate on the leaves, but the brownish-black females live on the bark, making
of ornamental shrubsCankerEuonymus scaleLeaf miner flyHorse chestnut scale insect