Slugs outstrip RHS enquiries over next worst pest cushion scale, by two to one in 2012

The RHS has announced its top 10 pests for 2012 based on enquiries received by the charity's entomology department.

As in 2011 slugs and snails topped the list but this time they generated almost twice as many enquiries as cushion scale, the number two pest. The previous year both pests had almost a similar number of enquiries.

RHS principal scientist plant health Andrew Halstead said: "The dominant feature of 2012 was the weather and this had a big impact on garden pest problems. As we all know this was the second wettest year in the last hundred years.

"Pests that like damp conditions therefore did well. Last summer the demand for slug controls, especially nematodes used as a biological control, sometimes exceeded supplies."

Mosquitoes and biting midges were the other beneficiaries because of the plentiful supply of temporary pools and wet soil. These provided ideal breeding sites where the larvae could develop.

But below-average temperatures and wet weather may have also had some positive effects. These conditions can reduce the mating success and rate of development of pests, as well as restricting their mobility.

Some pests, such as horse chestnut leaf-mining moth, euonymus scale and viburnum beetle, were noticeably less troublesome last summer.

Other pests, particularly aphids and scale insects, are susceptible to fungal infections that can spread rapidly in wet conditions, and this may have resulted in reduced populations.

"It will be interesting to see what effect the wet winter has on pest populations in 2013," said Halstead. "Insects that overwinter underground or spend part of their life cycle there can drown when the soil becomes waterlogged. This affects not just pests but also some beneficial insects, such as ground-nesting solitary bees."



 


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Tree planting guide - three basic rules

Choosing the right plant, correct planting procedure and best aftercare are the three basic rules for sucessful tree planting, Sally Drury explains.

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Tree planting - what are the benefits of planting trees?

Mitigating climate change, providing windbreaks and reducing the risk of soil erosion are some of the best reasons for planting trees, says Sally Drury.

Tree and shrubs - nursery market

Tree and shrubs - nursery market

Growers are more optimistic now that garden designers and landscape architects are seeking more mature trees and shrubs, writes Sally Drury.


Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Opinion... Unbeatable delight of quality plants

Viewing top-quality plants, both growing and on sale, always gives me pleasure.

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Editorial ... More analysis and insight from bumper HW issue

Welcome to this bumper 72-page July edition of Horticulture Week magazine, packed with exclusive analysis, insight and expert advice on the biggest issues impacting all sectors of the UK horticulture industry right now.

Edwards: Will a weak pound and tariffs on imported stock be good for UK nursery production?

Edwards: Will a weak pound and tariffs on imported stock be good for UK nursery production?

At the time of writing - a few days after the general election - sterling has weakened and we still have no idea of what Brexit means.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Ornamentals ranking

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Top 30 Ornamentals Nurseries by Turnover 2017

Tough retail pricing policies and Brexit opportunities drive the top 30 growth strategies.

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles