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How do I identify and get rid of a parasite?


By Loretta

I have several plants in pots on my decking. About a month ago my olive trees developed a parasite which has now spread to every plant in my garden, including very different species such as a Japanese Acer. The parasite stickes all of the new leaves together and a larva or perhaps a caterpillar lives inside the caccooned leaves, destroying all of the new leaves, and moving into the centre of the tree. B&Q (where I bought all of my plants, soil, and pots from) insist that it did not come with the trees. Where do I go from there? How do I identify the parasites and get rid of them? I have been using 'bug clear' for the last month with no luck.
I have attached a photo of the damage caused by the parasite.

Thanks for your suggestions so far. I have just been outside to photograph anything else I could find. I have now attached two pictures of one of the caterpillars. I'm afraid they are not very clear as the caterpillar moved very quickly and my camera struggled to focus on it because it was a very similar colour to the leaf.

There were also alot of spiders on the trees today and I found that a couple of them were hiding in some of the curled up leaves. I have attached a picture. I presume they wouldn't be damaging the tree?

And I found one other insect which I have not seen before. I have attached a photo of that too just incase it is the problem.




oh this is awful for you. are you able to take a picture of the damage and possibly the little critter that has done all the it on here someone may be able to identify it for you Have any of your neighbours been infected. if not then its got to have come from somewhere !!

x x x

5 Aug, 2009


Have you tried uncurling a leaf to see what is actually inside Lorretta ? If it is a grey/green tiny caterpillar it could be a type of sawfly. A systemic insecticide might work better instead of spraying.
An alternative is to nip off the affected tips and destroy the pest that way,but it would help you for the future if you could identify the culprit first.

5 Aug, 2009

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