Advice: pests and diseases

Here is where we will add advice on infestations of different common pests and diseases and how to prevent them. The RHS can give you plenty of advice but what we intend to include here are the little tricks of local gardeners to ensure you get the best from your produce, whether that is defeating snails and pidgeons or identifying what is damaging your dahlia flowers just before the show!

The rosemary beetle

This is an increasingly common pest in this part of the country and definitely present in Charing. Despite its Latin name, the beetle Chrysolina americana originated in southern Europe.

beetle

A very pretty beetle, it munches its way through rosemary and lavender leaves, also sage and thyme. The first sign of infestation is poor, damaged foliage and closer inspection reveals these little creatures or their larvae, which are greyish white with dark stripes.

Adult beetles can be seen in early summer but do not feed so much at this time. Surprisingly, a lot of the damage is actually done between late summer and April. Once the larvae are fully fed they burrow into the soil to pupate, coming out for food in late summer.

If the plants are pot grown the most efficient way to remove them is to knock the plants and the beetles will fall to the ground. You can then stamp on them or collect them up on newspaper spread underneath. Edible plants can be sprayed with Provado Ultimate Bug Killer Ready to Use or similar pesticides.

 

 

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