The caterpillar of the magpie moth are quite at home eating either gooseberries or currant - black or red.
The caterpillar is easy to recognise because of its bright colouring, and also the way it arches its back as it crawls along the leaf stems. This characteristic of humping along is called looping, and there are several caterpillars referred to as looping caterpillars.
The larvae of the Magpie moth are not considered to be too much of a nuisance - other than a little defoliating. However, they should be picked off the Gooseberry, blackcurrant or redcurrant as soon as seen.
Chemical sprays are not normally necessary unless there is a heavy infestation of the caterpillars. If this is so, then a spray with Bifenthrin - a contact insecticide, will bring them under control. This is best done before the flowers are open, or after petal drop. This prevents any accidental damage to friendly pollinating insects.
The species has undergone a decline in population over the last 10 years - now just 42% of previous population. Maybe with that in mind, then the hand picking of the caterpillars rather than the 'kill 'em all' attitude will do a little to help.
Learn - all aspects of lawn maintenance, how to build and maintain a pond, care and grow vegetables and fruit, fit for your table.
Identify Weeds in The Garden - How to deal with weeds. Diseases and Pest which harm your garden and plants, learn how to prevent, deter and erradicate your garden problems.
Pruning Guide. Shrubs flower better with correct pruning. Many illustrations and examples of what to do - and when. Includes evergreens, roses, flowering shrubs, spring flowering shrubs and pruning for stem effect. This is our most viewed and comprehensive section,Pruning
Gardening Businesses listed in the UK counties and USA states. County and State Listings of businesses involved in Garden supplies and services. If you wish to be added to the Directory, please send us your information. Having problems, use the search boxBusinesses
In this section you will learn about Gardening Basics, Containers, Landscaping, Propagation and Soil.
Our top Viewed Pages