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patio pest or friend - garden cricket

United Kingdom Gb

I have a large basement patio in a build up part of central London. I have around 80 large and small container plants including tiny water feature.I noticed recently that some of the larger plants have had large leaves (and often entire plants) eaten overnight. I use vine weevil controls regularly and the extent of the damage is too much to blame on vine weevil. Today I may have found the culprit and am not sure what to do. I saw a very large cricket / grass hopper type insect sitting on the patio chair mid afternoon. It had very long antennae; very long back legs; brown in colour with wings flat over the back of the abdomen. It measured in all 2 inches across. I tried to take a photo but it disappeared before I could find my camera. Could it be this insect that is eating my plants (never had this problem before). And if so what (if anything) can I do to stop this. I was more than surprised to see it given the location of my patio garden and the central, noisy polluted London location of it.



Usually severe damage comes from a large number of grasshoppers or crickets, (as with locusts and 'Mormon crickets' in the USA). I'd be surprised if one or even two could eat an entire plant. Given your location, it's likely the one you saw has blown in on the wind from somewhere. Hardly the landscape for swarms of crickets to get on the march! Nor would the damage be down to vine weevils as these mainly attack roots. Basement patio says to me our old friends slugs and snails. Can you get out to have a look either very late at night or very early in the morning while it's still dark, as then you will see what's doing the damage. Slugs and snails are usually cosily tucked away by the time we humans get up and start looking for them.

3 Aug, 2009


I agree with Bertie one cricket isn't likely to cause all that amount of damage check for slugs...

3 Aug, 2009

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