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Fuchsias and elephant hawk moths

BerkleyBerkley Posts: 428

I have lots of different fuchsias and am particularly fond of the long border of them at the front of the house.......there are always one or two hawk moth caterpillars in August, which I pick off. No great problem. But this year ten plants were completely stripped of their leaves and look awful.

Has it been a specially good year for them? Is there anything I can do to avoid a repeat next year? I don't like drastic remedies ... but am quite upset by the amount of damage.

Posts

  • PosyPosy Isle of Wight.Posts: 3,212

    You may find that many on this site would be thrilled to bits to get some elephant hawk moths and would be prepared to sacrifice the fuchsia. It's always difficult to balance wildlife and garden perfection. I don't think you have much choice - you can tolerate or kill them as you wish.

  • Elephant hawkmoths also feed on rosebay willowherb.While you may be understandably reluctant to plant it in your own garden, pretty as it is, maybe you could relocate the caterpillars to some nearby?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,374

    I'll have the caterpillars please. I've never seen one. I know they must be lurking somewhere here because we  get loads of the moths in the moth traps

  • The spiders in the shed get the moths here! I've not seen a caterpillar either, but I leave a nice patch of willowherb in hopesimage

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,374

    I think they're happy with any of the willowherbs. Rosebay doesn't do well for me but I have plenty of others to keep them happy

  • I have masses of great willowherb  in the boggy 'wilderness', it is always alive with little white butterflies in summer, but is usually too wet to walk on!

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