Tortix moth infestation


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Hello,

I, and my neighbours, appear to have a pretty bad tortrix moth infestation. They have annihilated an azalea last season (which is where I think the problem began) and have been found in the hedging and ornamental garden plants (such as water and penstemon) this season.

I have a moth trap (which has not caught anything so far after being hung for a week) and have been removing any caterpillar rolls and I can see from the plants in my garden and drowning them in hot soapy water.

However, on visiting my neighbour yesterday, I noted they have taken form residence in her garden too. In quite large numbers.

Aside from the traps and removing as I see them, can anyone can suggest anything else to help reduce the population?

Best wishes and thanks,
Grace
 
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It isn't the moth that is the problem it is their caterpillars that do the damage. The very best way to get rid of the caterpillars is with a Bt product (Bacillus thuringensis). I think it is available in the UK. If these are the leaf roller variety of Tortrix caterpillars just squeeze the rolled leaf and kill the caterpillar. Or you might try killing the eggs of the moth and thus the caterpillars by spraying Neem Oil which is great at killing all sorts of eggs.
 
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Hi Chuck,
Thank you for this. I think Bt is only licensed for professional use in the UK. I know it's available on eBay, but there are many reports of it being fake. Neem, I have and I use discreetly because of the broad spectrum killing issues. I worry that, given the size and span of the infestation that using neem broadly would cause much greater imbalance and problems down the line.
I'm very open to hearing more thoughts and suggestions though if my thinking is skewed.
Big thanks,
Grace.
 
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Hi Chuck,
Thank you for this. I think Bt is only licensed for professional use in the UK. I know it's available on eBay, but there are many reports of it being fake. Neem, I have and I use discreetly because of the broad spectrum killing issues. I worry that, given the size and span of the infestation that using neem broadly would cause much greater imbalance and problems down the line.
I'm very open to hearing more thoughts and suggestions though if my thinking is skewed.
Big thanks,
Grace.
Can you get spinosad based products
 
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Can you get spinosad based products
Hi Chuck. That's a new one on me but looks promising.
Any suggestions for delivery method given the scope and size of the area? I've added a photo of one of the hedges to give an idea of areas to be treated.

Big thanks again.
 

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Hi Chuck. That's a new one on me but looks promising.
Any suggestions for delivery method given the scope and size of the area? I've added a photo of one of the hedges to give an idea of areas to be treated.

Big thanks again.
With a hose end sprayer or a pump-up sprayer it would be a little time consuming but nothing daunting. Spinosad is an effective caterpillar killer, the main difference between it and Bt is it takes about 24 hours instead of 6 hours. But it too is a non-selective broad spectrum insect killer. Anything you can use with the exception of Bt is non-selective broad spectrum If you are worried about harming beneficial insects there is only one thing to use and that is Bt.
 
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With a hose end sprayer or a pump-up sprayer it would be a little time consuming but nothing daunting. Spinosad is an effective caterpillar killer, the main difference between it and Bt is it takes about 24 hours instead of 6 hours. But it too is a non-selective broad spectrum insect killer. Anything you can use with the exception of Bt is non-selective broad spectrum If you are worried about harming beneficial insects there is only one thing to use and that is Bt.
Hi Chuck,
Can you share any links regarding the species specific nature of Bt (hamfistly worded, I apologise :) )
I have visited the neighbours today to hard prune some of their shrubs. It really is very widespread.

Have you (or any others reading) ever found joy in introducing predators ? I think I would need a certain species of wasp. Of which I have seen a couple around.
 
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If I read this right, Bt can alter the genetics of plant material. I'm not sure it sounds like something I ought/want to do.
Any thoughts or opinions on that?
You misread it. They are making GMO plants and they are incorporating Bt into the plant to stop having to use pesticides.
 
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