Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Attack of the Worms
Yesterday I was shocked to discover that one of our gooseberry bushes had been completely defoliated, and the other one was in immenent danger of sharing the same fate. The culprits, known as gooseberry or currant worms, are the larvae of an innocuous-looking small fly called the Gooseberry Sawfly (Nematus ribesii). We've had smaller hatches of them earlier in the summer, and managed to stay on top of hand-picking the larvae off of the leaves (and squishing them) as soon as we noticed the damage. Then they seemed to stop hatching out, and I stopped checking up on the plants as we got more busy with wedding preparations. Well, it appears we weren't out of the hatching season just yet!
According to what I've read, we could probably control these with a dusting of pyrethrin or spraying with neem, so I might have to make a run to Bakerview and pick something up. For now though, we're just picking them off by hand (Cary prefers squishing them in place on the leaves) since we only have two bushes - and only one of them still has any leaves left to save! I just hope that the plants aren't too stressed by this, they were doing so well before the attack.