Top Pest And Disease List Highlights Pressures Likely To Be Faced By Gardeners Following Mild Winter

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Publication of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) “Top 10 pests and diseases” for 2015 highlights the pressures Gardeners are facing as a result of the unusually mild winter. This year, snails and slugs have been knocked off the top spot for the first time in nearly a decade by the box tree caterpillar.

The Common Sense Gardening Group of the Crop Protection Association offer advice on ways to deal with pests such as the box tree caterpillar, as well as the many other weeds and diseases in the garden.

Many gardeners will rely on garden care chemicals as easy to use tools that can protect their plants. If gardeners do decide to use chemical control it’s important that they follow the advice on the label to ensure correct application. When applied according to label instructions garden care chemicals should have no significant adverse effect on the wildlife in the garden or the environment.

Gary Philpotts, Chair of the Common Sense Gardening Group said:

“Gardeners could always try and remove caterpillars by hand but if that is not possible they may wish to use an insecticide. When applying insecticides it’s crucial that you follow the common sense approach by reading the label carefully and thinking about the timing of your spraying.

“The best times to spray are early in the morning (between 08.00am and 10.00am) or in the evening (between 18.00pm and 20.00pm). During these periods there are fewer beneficial insects and bees are not active.

“The recent mild winter, which included the warmest and wettest December on record, means that pest and disease problems are likely to be even worse this spring. Garden care chemicals such as insecticides play an important role in helping gardeners deal with those problems as part of an integrated approach that considers alternative methods of pest, weed, and disease control when appropriate.”

For more advice on how to protect your plants from pests such as the box tree caterpillar, as well as advice on using, storing and disposing of garden care chemicals, visit the Common Sense Gardening website: www.garden-care.org.uk

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