This is a very common pest and there’s little you can do to deter it. Then spray it directly onto the larvae to kill them. is there a best time of year to apply nematodes, you can apply nematodes any time really as long as there is no frost about and the ground isn’t frozen (not much chance of that in this heatwave ). Sawflies have several natural enemies that keep them in check, including predatory beetles, parasitic wasps, and viral and fungal diseases. Solomon’s seal is unlucky enough to have a particularly serious sawfly pest whose larvae can strip it or the related Polygonatum plants bare. The birds need insects to feed on and the insects pollinate plants, all important for our own well being. Anywhere that Solomon's-seal is found. The chemical method is to spray the plants. The adult sawfly is 8 or 9 mm long and all black. If you prefer not to use chemicals then the larvae can be removed by hand. Handpicking may be the only control measure you need to control light infestations. Adults May and June. Your email address will not be published. Identification difficulty. when the host plant is identified. The female adults have a saw-like ovipositor which the use to cut into soft plant tissues and lay eggs within it. Found in the summer on Solomon’s seal and other plants of the Polygonatum genus. The larvae of the Solomon's seal sawfly (Phymatocera aterrima) are voracious eaters. This is every bit as satisfying as popping bubble wrap and a lot easier than caterpillar hunting. soapy garlic spray didn't seem to get rid of them and, as they attack after flowering and seem to leave every other plant alone, I didn't want to use totally lethal chemical sprays. Keep a close watch on your plants for sawfly damage at this time of year. Why not leave them be. How to get rid of it. The larvae strip the plant of its leaves very rapidly. There will no need to pick the caterpillars off if you do this one simple thing: The female sawfly deposits her eggs under the skin of the stem, usually in a fleshy lower part. You can see where this is done because a discolouration develops. Habitat. They then feed on the plant for a month before going into the soil and forming a pupa to overwinter, before emerging as adults the following May/June. We also have regularly updated gardening product reviews. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Encourage predators and other natural enemies of sawfly in the garden, such as birds and ground beetles. This is every bit as satisfying as popping bubble wrap and a lot easier than caterpillar hunting. As soon as you see the larvae spray the plant with a contact insecticide. Yard Force AMIRO400i Robotic Lawnmower with WI-FI... WORX WR110MI Wi-Fi Enabled Robotic Mower, 20 V,... Lawnmaster L10 Robotic Lawnmower 20V Max Auto... 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A devastating cycle! solomon's seal sawfly sawflies hard at work every year,not long after flowering,the leaves of my solomon's seal are completely eaten away by small grey/green caterpillars. So, regularly just run your thumb and forefinger up the stems and you’ll kill the bugs before they get started and will even be left with clean hands! These are a very common and widespread pest and will also strip a plant bare within hours, usually just leaving the tougher mid-veins of the leaves in place! Be vigilant in May and June because the larvae do a lot of damage very quickly. This is definitely a fast, cheap, and easy technique to quickly get rid of them. The only problem is that you need to do it daily to make sure you bring their numbers down. What eats the sawfly caterpillars? The larvae feed in groups so severe damage happens very quickly as the greyish white caterpillar-like larvae munch their way through the leaves. Can I treat the soil ? This website was set up for gardening enthusiasts to enjoy expert articles, a busy gardening forum and classified section. Most of the damage happens from May through until early August, but this feeding period may differ slightly from area to area and  from one season to the next. The larvae (which do the damage) are grey-white and up to 20mm long with distinctive black heads. The organic method to rid the plants of these pests is to pick them off (eeeek and double yuck !!). Sadly, yes it is pest time BUT they are interesting things and , in a perverse sort of way I love ’em! I am rather fond of the sawfly as it is actually a beautiful little insect and part of our country’s biodiversity. Can’t say I had heard of this one. There is only one generation each year. When to see it. Affected plants will survive but won’t flourish. The adults aren’t a problem as they feed on pollen. Chemicals recommended are Bayer Provado Ultimate Bug Killer, Bayer Sprayday Greenfly Killer or Py Spray Garden Insect Killer, Doff … Best to apply them when the grubs are about so the nematodes can get to work immediately also best to apply them at night on moist soil, Your email address will not be published. If I pick them off and put them on the bird table will my bird visitors deal with them for me? Required fields are marked *. The bird and insect populations in the UK have plummeted over the last 30 years and we are heading for a silent spring! I’ll keep any eye out! Sign up to recieve the latest gardening news, hints and tips. This can be used not only on ornamental plants like Solomon’s seal and other flowers suffering sawfly attack,  but also on gooseberries, should yours succumb to one of the gooseberry sawflies. They are often found feeding on the underside of leaves where they intially eat long strips from the leaves but eventually may defoliate the plant entirely. Please note GoTo4Gardening is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for website owners to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon(.com, .co.uk, .ca etc) and any other website that may be affiliated with Amazon Service LLC Associates Program. Flymo Lithium-ion Robotic Lawnmower 1200 R. Mcculloch ROB 1000 Robotic Lawn Mower 18 V, Up to... Yard Force Compact 280R Robotic Lawnmower with... Mcculloch ROB 600 Robotic Lawn Mower, UK and EU... Bosch Robotic Lawnmower Indego S+ 350 (with App... WORX WR130E S300 Landroid Robotic Mower 300m. If you simply rub your finger over this, you can feel the eggs popping. Yes – treat the soil with nematodes as directed on the packet – they use the larvae as a host and eventually kill them. As soon as you see the larvae spray the plant with a contact insecticide. If you prefer not to use chemicals then the larvae can be removed by hand. The pupation takes place in the ground. If you simply rub your finger over this, you can feel the eggs popping. Female sawflies lay eggs in the leaf stalks in May/June and the larvae hatch about a week later. Caterpillars have five or fewer pairs of false legs that are armed with tiny hooks. Alternatively you could treat with a proprietary caterpillar spray or, better still use ‘Nemasys Fruit and Vegetable Protection’, a wonderful mixture of nematodes which controls a range of common pests, including sawfly  (you can find out more at www.pippagreenwood.com/products/protect-your-crops. Life History. Check plants regularly from May onwards for the presence of larvae and remove … So, regularly just run your thumb and forefinger up the stems and you’ll kill the bugs before they get started and will even be left with clean hands! Be vigilant in May and June because the larvae do a lot of damage very quickly. The larvae feed on Solomon's-seal in summer. Regular checks on Solomon’s seal and Polygonatum plants should mean that you can remove the larvae as they appear and before they do too much damage.

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