For­eign pests in­vade vil­lage gar­dens

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

NA­TURE is bit­ing back in Bucks as con­cerned gar­den­ers and hor­ti­cul­tur­ists have no­ticed a rise in the num­ber of in­va­sive pests in their vil­lages.

Flora and fauna na­tive to Asia, which wreak havoc on an English ecosys­tem not used to them, have been spot­ted in a num­ber of vil­lages in the county.

De­struc­tive box tree cater­pil­lars and in­va­sive Ja­panese knotweed have both been seen in Stoke Po­ges and Prest­wood re­spec­tively.

Re­cent sight­ings of the cater­pil­lars come only a year af­ter the in­sects were thought to have been erad­i­cated from Bucks, leav­ing gar­den­ers with box trees in their gar­dens wor­ried.

The cater­pil­lars are the lar­vae of the box tree moth, na­tive to coun­tries such as Ja­pan and China and are known to dec­i­mate box trees, hav­ing no known preda­tor in this coun­try af­ter be­ing in­tro­duced accidentally.

They were first seen in Basel, Switzer­land, 10 years ago be­fore mak­ing their way across Europe.

They were first spot­ted in Eng­land in 2011.

Cater­pil­lars cause se­vere de­fo­li­a­tion of box trees or hedges as they are ag­gres­sive eaters with large ap­petites.

Naomi Arnold, of Free­mans Close, said this cur­rent in­fes­ta­tion is mak­ing her ‘pretty sick’ and added: “Where they’re com­ing from I don’t know.

“I can’t be­lieve I can be the only one.”

Speak­ing dur­ing the last in­va­sion, Dr An­drew Sal­is­bury, se­nior en­to­mol­o­gist at the Royal Hor­ti­cul­tural So­ci­ety, said: “Con­trol of the cater­pil­lars can be achieved by re­moval by hand where prac­ti­cal.

“For more ex­ten­sive in­fes­ta­tions, it may be nec­es­sary to use an in­sec­ti­cide, such as prod­ucts con­tain­ing pyrethrum (Py Spray Gar­den In­sect Killer), lamb­da­cy­halothrin (West­land Re­solva Bug Killer) or deltamethrin (Bayer Spray­day Green­fly Killer).”

More in­for­ma­tion on this moth can be found at http://­vice/ pro­file?pid=760.

It was also brought to this pa­per’s at­ten­tion that Ja­panese knotweed has been spot­ted grow­ing out­side the Che­quers Pub, High Street, Prest­wood.

We have been un­able to reach the pub for com­ment as we go to press but the herba­ceous plant, na­tive to Ja­pan and China, has been classed as an in­va­sive species.

It has a root sys­tem which can dam­age prop­erty, in­clud­ing con­crete foun­da­tions, re­tain­ing walls and roads, and im­pacts on flood­ing man­age­ment and bio­di­ver­sity.

If you have seen any in­va­sive species in Bucks, please write to the let­ters page at buck­snews@trin­i­


SPREAD­ING: Ja­panese knotweed

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