Organic Controls for Garden Pests


Butterflies and Moths are beautiful creatures, and are useful pollinators of our plants. However their young can be a terrible pest. Caterpillars eat voraciously as they need to pack in a lot of food in a very short time if they are going to emerge as adults. They are designed to eat leaves and their powerful little biting jaws can munch through swathes of foliage overnight leaving only the ribs behind.

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Cabbage White Caterpillars

The Small Cabbage White Butterfly larva is probably the most destructive of all of the caterpillars, devouring cabbages and other cruciferous crops all over the world.The adult male has one spot on the wing and the female has two - both have a pale yellow underside to the wings. The caterpillars are green and difficult to spot among green leaves, especially when they lie along the ribs. The Large White is a larger version of the small white with much more pronounced black markings. The caterpillars are patterned and larger and much easier to spot.

Codling Moth Caterpillars

There is another caterpillar that does a lot of damage - the caterpillar of the codling moth The caterpillars feed inside the fruits of apple (Malus), quince (Cydonia oblonga), pear (Pyrus) and other wild and cultivated fruit. The adults of the codling moth emerge emerge in late May-June and lay eggs on or near developing fruits from June to mid-July. After hatching, the small white, brown-headed caterpillar bores into a fruit and feeds in the core region for about four weeks until fully grown. Then they hibernate (usually on the ground or under loose bark) and they pupate in the following spring. This life cycle makes it possible to treat the caterpillars in the Autumn, and set traps for monitoring the adults in Spring.. Traps for Codling Moth

Other Caterpillars

There are many other caterpillars which damage trees, vegetables, fruit and flowers. Some of the most notorious inside glasshouses are the tortix moth caterpillars and their relatives. Other new problems outside are the oak processionary moth and the horse-chestnut leaf-mining moth. We grow citrus at Fletching Glasshouses and we are continually troubled by the green caterpillar moths which curl the leaves around them like a blanket so they can't be seen. Then there is the Citrus Leaf Miner Moth whose caterpillars leave waxy trails in the young leaves. Traps for Citrus Leaf Miner

Nematodes to Treat Caterpillars

We supply a mix of tiny, tiny, worm-like creatures called "nematodes". The nematodes include a species called (Steinernema carpocapsae) that attack the pest by entering natural body openings. Once inside, they release bacteria that stops the larvae from feeding, quickly killing it and breaking the pest's lifecycle. The nematodes are supplied within the "Vegetable and Fruit Protection" pack. We offer a three-pack treatment - so that you can make three repeat applications at 5 to 7 day intervals.
More information...

GYO Multi-Target Nematode Mix
Three Pack Treatment
60sqm of ground or 20 trees
19.95 inc P&P

Parasitic Wasps to kill caterpillars

Trichogramma are the most widely used parasatoid in the world and are routinely used to control moths in forests all over China, Russia, and North America. These tiny wasps are less than 1mm in length, and survive only by laying their eggs within the eggs of moths and butterflies, killing the caterpillars and using up their food. Trichogramma brassicae are supplied as eggs on cards (very like encarsia) and if you hang out the cards in a warm light spot the Trichgramma will hatch out and go seeking suitable food.
Trichogramma is best used early season, because it affect the eggs, and has no effect on existing caterpillars or adults.
More information...

10 cards - 200 eggs per card
7.95 inc P&P

50 cards - 200 eggs per card
24.95 inc P&P