The Common Sense Gardening Group of the Crop Protection Association offer advice on ways to deal with pests such as the number one pest in the list, the box tree caterpillar, as well as the many other pests, weeds, and diseases in the garden.
Many gardeners will use garden care chemicals as effective tools to protect their plants says the CPA. 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.
Common Sense Gardening Group chair Gary Philpotts 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. The box tree caterpillar overwinters on box plants as small caterpillars. Garden care chemicals such as insecticides play an important role in helping gardeners deal with these problems as part of an integrated approach that considers alternative methods of pest, weed, and disease control when appropriate."