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HELP!! Mystery Pest Problem!

Hi, I have returned from 2 weeks on holiday to find that my lysimachia golden Alexander, my salvia desert fire plants and my potato plants are all practically bear of leaves with only the leaf skeletons remaining! What could have caused this and how can I treat, fix it????
it looks like there are a few “fury” things stuck to the plant so I’m guessing it’s a insect pest of some sort!
any help or advice would be much appreciated! 



  • ju1i3ju1i3 Posts: 189
    slugs and snails? photo of the furry things please
  • GlenjjonesGlenjjones Posts: 141
    Can’t get a photo just yet, as I’m back in work! 😟
    I don’t think it’s slugs and snails, as it’s far more selective than they normally are! They usually eat most of my plants! Could it be a type of sawfly?
  • ZeroZero1ZeroZero1 Posts: 577
     lysimachia golden Alexander is as tough as old boots. Even slugs can't do that. Are they starved of water? 
  • GlenjjonesGlenjjones Posts: 141

    No its been raining pretty constantly every day for the last 2 weeks, and the soil is very moist, so no water issues.

    The leaves of all 3 plants have been eaten back to almost a leaf skeleton. all the fleshy material is pretty much munched away.

    Seems odd that whatever is doing this only seems to have picked these 3 plants.

    Only other problem that I have come home to is my yellow courgettes going brown and not maturing the plant, but I suspect this is due to lack of pollination activity.

  • LynLyn Posts: 22,852
    I think we could do with seeing the ‘furry’  things. Could be furry caterpillars could be mealy bug or similar. Could be large aphid! Who knows. 
    I doubt if its lack of water, doesn’t usually leave skeleton leaves. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,036
    We'll have to wait for photos of the furry things ... Nora and the team are sorting out a glitch on the site.  

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • GlenjjonesGlenjjones Posts: 141

    thanks guys,

    I'll upload a picture this evening if the bug is sorted.

  • GlenjjonesGlenjjones Posts: 141

    Found the @*$¥%’s!
    how do I treat them, there’s loads of them! 😡
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,227

    Hi Glen,

    Try using a spray of diluted neem oil .... it is totally organic and is derived by pressing the seed kernels of the neem tree.

    I use it for lily beetles and sawfly on gooseberries / solomons seal and aruncus. Also use it if the aphids get too bad on the roses.

    See this link for further info.

    and this one for how to make it.

    I use it as soon as growth starts in April and I drench the foliage. Any spare solution goes onto the soil below as the earthworms are supposed to love it. I repeat spray every few weeks.

    Neem is best used preventatively .... but will work on pests that have already arrived. It does not hurt beneficial insects. Only chewing and sucking insects are affected. The main reason is that insects need to ingest the neem oil to be affected, and beneficial insects don't eat your plants. However, you can still kill beneficial insects if you smother them with neem oil, so I tend to spray late evening to be safe.

    It does stink a bit ... but is easy to mix up and apply.

    I got mine off ebay .... wasn't expensive for a big bottle which will last ages. At room temperature it is solid, but goes liquid again within a couple of hours in the airing cupboard.

    Worth a try.

    Bee x

    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • Mary370Mary370 Posts: 2,003
    Gesh they have really decimated that plant!
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