What is eating the leaves of my gooseberry bush?
Posted by Dobies Staff on 13 August 2014 01:40 pm

The leaves are being eaten by the larvae of the gooseberry sawfly. This is a very common pest on Gooseberry bushes.

The small black and orange adults emerge from April onwards. The eggs are laid in slits made along the main leaf veins on the underside of the leaves. Hatching commences a week later and the larvae feed for a month, reducing the leaves to a skeleton of veins before pupating in the soil. A second generation appears three weeks later and the life cycle is repeated. A third generation of adults develop and their larvae overwinter in cocoons in the soil.

Spray with a suitable insecticide that has recommendations for the use on gooseberry plants. Caterpillars can also be controlled by using biological control methods. This involves spraying nematodes found in the Nemasys Grow Your Own Multiple Pest Killer directly on to the caterpillars as soon as they are first seen.

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