gooseberry sawfly

Discussion in 'Fruit and Vegetable Gardening' started by jeffffff, Apr 29, 2005.

  1. jeffffff

    jeffffff Member

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    Does anyone have any success stories for tackling gooseberry sawfly? It took off all the leaves from my bushes in about three days last year. I'd prefer something that's not highly toxic, but if there's no alternative, I'll resort to that.
     
  2. Thean

    Thean Active Member 10 Years

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    Howdy Jeff,
    I have the same problem in Edmonton. We get two generations a year. When very young they congregate together and the tell tale sign is tiny holes on a single leaf or two. Just rub them between the fingers. If you decide to use insecticide, any contact insecticide will do the job.
    Peace
    Thean
     
  3. jeffffff

    jeffffff Member

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    Thanks for the tip.

    I'd read conflicting reports in David Tarrant's Pacific Gardening Guide (on one page he says that "the only recommended pesticide is Methoxychlor", but on another page he writes "Malathion is the recommended spray"), so wanted to see if people had used one or the other. But it sounds from your experience that sawflies aren't that particular about what they die from. I'll give it a go this year.

    thanks again

    Jeff
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    broad spectrum contact insecticide registered for use on fruiting crops, perhaps Sevin aka Carbaryl.

    I lread just recently that it is not a true caterpillar and hence Btk is ineffective.
     
  5. growest

    growest Active Member 10 Years

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    Jeff--I've used malathion as recommended, and it does indeed clean up the sawfly. I just didn't want to use anything so poisonous in the veggie garden, so I eventually got rid of the gooseberry (and black currants with their fruit worms, same sorta story).

    I continue to battle a similar "sawfly" pest on columbine, which as mentioned doesn't seem to be enough of a caterpiller to respond to btk. I have always found safer's Trounce gets them easily...I would expect the gooseberry type to respond the same?

    Glen
     
  6. Ralph Walton

    Ralph Walton Active Member 10 Years

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    My annual bug problem is tent caterpillars, and I've taken to using a liberal warm water + dish soap spray (to saturation). It may not be 100% kill, but it sure hurts them a lot. Two applications about 3 - 4 days apart seems to work best and gives the trees a chance to recover over the next several weeks.
    Other advantages: there's always some around, its cheap enough that I can mix 50 gallons or so in the tank sprayer and get to the high nests, who cares what else it gets on, and when I'm done with the caterpillars I can wash the car.
    I also use the leftovers on aphids if I see any. Maybe it'll work on other pests.
    Ralph
     

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