Green alert progress report Posted on September 5, 2015

It’s three weeks now since we spotted the box caterpillar (or rather its trail of destruction) in the garden, We’ve sprayed the affected bushes three times – and the funny thing is we haven’t yet seen either a caterpillar, a larva or a moth. Their traces are here all right; threadbare patches in the box with telltale tiny webs. The worst is the lower half of a pyramid which is heavily shaded in a wall corner. Could its position have something to do with it?

Meanwhile news comes in from friend after friend in London; serious infestations. The moth must be a fast flyer – it seems to land everywhere. I continue to spray – specially inside the plants. I wear rubber gloves and tease the branches apart to spray the inner branches. Encouragingly there seem to be quite a lot of new leaves sprouting nearer the trunk. If the pest has taken a break for the winter I’d love to know where it’s hiding.

STOP PRESS: A gardener in Provence has been fighting the caterpillar with pheromone moth traps (yellow, sticky) and regular spraying.

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