Something is eating everything, please help.

Discussion in 'Pests, Diseases and Cures' started by Scotty2088, Apr 18, 2020.

  1. Scotty2088

    Scotty2088 Gardener

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    Following on from something eating my clematis, everything on my bank is being eaten. It’s getting me really down now as I’ve spent a lot of time and money on my plants and they are struggling as something is having a field day eating the lot. Please, any suggestions welcome. I’ve looked out for snails and slugs to no avail. There are no bugs on the plants when I inspect. But something is eating them. I have sprayed them with bug spray but that’s having no effect. First picture is to give context on the bank and the following photos to give clarity on the array of plants being destroyed.

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  2. ricky101

    ricky101 Total Gardener

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    Hi,

    As there is no hint of any slug slime trails, I would suspect its the work of leaf cutting Bees which often go for Roses first leaving that tell tale sign.
    Leaf-cutting bees / RHS Gardening

    Perhaps that bank with the trees and their roots and the field beyond are the type of habitat those bees need and your plants are close by and first choice.

    Not aware of any remedy other than very fine netting .
     
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    • Scotty2088

      Scotty2088 Gardener

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      Thanks for your reply Ricky. I’m not convinced it is what you say. After a small amount of research their bite/cut marks seem very circular and neat where as mine are not. Just to add I do have roses elsewhere in the garden that are as yet unaffected and thus making me think it could be something that crawls?
       
    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      I think there is probably more than one culprit, slugs for the new growth, maybe the odd caterpillar, noticed a few of those fat brown ones recently.
      Some pics are of old growth that has overwintered so its possibly been attacked last year.

      Cant see anything that I'd be that worried about, once growth really gets going it will probably all start to look better.

      Have a wander round after dark with a torch.
       
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      • Nikolaos

        Nikolaos Super Gardener

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        @Scotty2088 I've got a different perspective than I used to have on this issue, being keen on wildlife-friendly gardening for the last couple of years. Caterpillars I think, couldn't tell you which. But as for spraying with chemicals, one is not only likely to kill the pest itself, but potential predators. I now focus more on growing healthy plants in correct soil/light conditions and allow the pests free reign, they don't seem to have gotten out of control so far and are a form of wildlife themselves, tho of course a less welcome one! :fingers crossed:

        As Pete says:

        Nick
         
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        • Scotty2088

          Scotty2088 Gardener

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          Okay, I have the culprit. Weevils. Whilst I also saw some earwigs also? Do they eat plants?

          I’m now conflicted. I don’t want to kill anything but the situation is much worse than the pictures suggest.

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          I really didn’t have to look hard. Now how can I get rid.
           
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          • mazambo

            mazambo Total Gardener

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            The trouble with weevils is they wobble but they don't fall down, sorry that was something else:heehee: I think best way with adults is picking off and squishing, I think there are natural things like nematodes for grubs, not sure about chemicals, earwigs there are various homemade traps for earwigs on the internet.
             
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            • Mike Allen

              Mike Allen Total Gardener

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              Although chipped bark etc can help cut down on weeding, sometimes act as a mulch and perhaps tidy up an area. Personally I am a bit cautious there.

              Although I would suggest it a bit too soon for leaf cutting bees/wasps, with our weather working in fits and starts perhaps anything is possible. Not wishing to be an alarmist, probably a bit of a disturbance to the chippings etc would reveal quite a live industrious collection of even the tiniest creepy-crawlies just below the surface.

              From the photos, it does appear that the bank is very dry, thus the chance of a tasty green morsel is worth coming to the surface for. Several of the plants are showing dry and browning leaves. Might I suggest, a bit of a loosening up of the chippings, a reasonable soaking using an insecticide. Try and keep the area watered and when things start to look up, then a general feed. Never attempt to feed sick plants. Best wishes.
               
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              • ricky101

                ricky101 Total Gardener

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                Though a bit unsightly , the damaged leaves will be replaced by others and you could try trapping the Wig and Weevs, though some now suggest Wigs are predators on bugs we do not want.

                Our concern would be more the Weevs grubs which will be hatching out now and starting the cycle off again.
                Have you noticed any plants dying off suddenly ? lifting the plant may reveal a load of grubs that have eaten the sub stem and roots.

                As mentioned above, you may need to use Nematodes to prevent an even greater infestation next year.
                 
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                • Scotty2088

                  Scotty2088 Gardener

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                  Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone. No I’ve not had any plants suddenly die off yet and I moved a lavender plant the other day with no sign of grubs.


                  Thanks Mike, when you mention some leaves look like they are browning, why would this be? I’m conflicted as to put pestaside down as the bank is covered as you say in all manners of bugs from spiders to weevils. I just want to isolate the ones eating my plants and that seems to be the weeevils.
                   
                • Nikolaos

                  Nikolaos Super Gardener

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                  @Scotty2088 Don't know if you've come across this page but the RHS seem to have a few suggestions for non-pesticide control. There's also some information about nematodes.

                  Vine weevil / RHS Gardening

                  Nick
                   
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                  • pete

                    pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                    Personally I've never had problems with vine weevil in any plant growing in the ground.
                    I always, rightly or wrongly, consider it a pest of pot plants, that is apart from the odd chewed leaf here and there.
                     
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                    • Scotty2088

                      Scotty2088 Gardener

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                      So I’ve tried to prep as much as possible now. I’ve cleared the bases of the plants, put down slug repellent and copper tape. I’ve also sprayed the plants rather than treat the bark. If that doesn’t help the situation then I will look into nematodes.

                      Wish me luck. I’m glad I decided against pesticide. When fitting the tape etc today, the amount of insect life is incredible and I would be destroying a whole eco system just for my own benefit.
                       
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                      • Mike Allen

                        Mike Allen Total Gardener

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                        I'm glad that you have seen for yourself, something of what goes on all the time out of sight. Sometimes due to many reasons, the 'Bug world' can perhaps become a problem. In the case of your bank and the visible plant damage, I wouldn't worry too much. Sometimes we can become a bit too overprotective of our plants.

                        Of couse we would all like the perfect plant etc, sorry but this doesn't happen. Somewhat like the over protective mother. Just one spot, doesn't mean the child has measles.

                        Browning and various dicoloration of foliage can be indicators of so many things, from the plant being too dry or too wet, to a hiccup with the photosynthesis process to a slight imbalance of chemicals in the soil. Unless it is really serious, then I'd be inclined to leave well alone. Perhaps we sometimes forget. Plants and us humans have a great deal in common. We each have our ups and down periods. Hope this helps.
                         
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                        • Scotty2088

                          Scotty2088 Gardener

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