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Gooseberry Sawfly

gooseberry1If you love to grow gooseberrys you will know the frustration of the gooseberry sawfly whose larvae can strip the leaves of gooseberry bushes.

I read an article recently about an organic solution to this pest; pick a bucket of foxglove leaves and pour over two pints of boiling water, leave for two days, strain and spray on gooseberry plants before any caterpillars appear.

So if you have foxgloves in your garden why not give it a try.

There are a couple of other non chemical controls:

  • Regularly check the plants from mid-April onwards for sawfly larvae and pick them off by hand.
  • A pathogenic nematode, sold as Nemasys Grow Your Own, can be watered onto infested plants. The nematodes enter the bodies of the sawfly larvae and infect them with a bacterial disease.

Chemical controls available include:

  • Insecticides are Provado Ultimate Bug Killer, Westland Plant Rescue Fruit & Vegetable Bug Killer
  • Organic pesticides such as Py Garden Insect Killer, Scotts Bug Clear Gun for Fruit & Veg, or Doff All in One Bug Spray
  • Spray when young larvae are seen, with an insecticide approved for use on gooseberryand red currant