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Food for Life - Schools Programme

                                                                                    

Insect Life and Pest Control

Your allotment garden/individual plots will attract a number of different insects and wildlife.

Insects will be attracted to the obvious food source being the vegetable or fruit grown, in turn this will attract birds which will feed on the insects.

Also butterflies will lay their eggs along with other bugs in and around the plots.

Watch as the site develops into an insect / wildlife haven.

Slugs and Snails

Slugs and snails prefer damp/shady conditions, with plenty of cover from birds especially through the day.

If the temperature rises or drops these creatures take refuge among stones, under pots, crawl into crevices etc.

Slugs remain active all year round unless in freezing conditions, where as snails hibernate sealing them into their shells.

Sunny conditions will deter slugs and snails so try planting in a sunny spot. Also limit water use as not to “over dampen” your plot. Slugs and snails leak a slimy trail which protects them when moving around.

Try putting down crushed eggshells, wood ash and soot, coarse sand/gravel, sawdust.

They also only travel short distances so if you see any pick them out of your plot and discard.

Try installing a pond to attract FROGS, they will eat the slugs and other pests but remember to make the pond safe for children.

Other pests include:

Asparagus Beetle

Adult beetles feed on the shoots of asparagus.

Bean Seed Fly

They destroy the seeds/seedlings of French beans and can also eat the seed roots and underground stems.

Beet Carrion Beetle

The grub and adult of this black beetle feed on the leaves of beetroot in spring.

Black Fly

A small black aphid attacks all varieties of beans, especially the tips of broad beans.

Cabbage Root Fly

The maggots feed on the roots. Infection signs are lack of growth, plant turning blush in colour and wilting of leaves.

Carrot Fly

Mostly attacks carrots, also affects parsnips, hamburg parsley, celery, celeriac and parsley.

The actual fly is not the real problem but it is the grubs of the eggs it lays. The fly is attracted to the smell of the carrots then lays it eggs down the side of the root.

Cabbage White Fly

The caterpillars are the problem here, they will eat all the brassicas and can completely strip a cabbage to a leaf skeleton. Look out for clusters of yellow eggs and crush them.  Try planting Marigolds in between your Tomatoes / Peppers / cucumbers in the Greenhouse to ward off these pests.

Earwigs

Can chew great wholes in leaves.

Flea Beetle

A small black beetle which eats through most young seedlings and soft leaved plants. More common on turnips, swedes, radish and most brassicas.

Onion Fly

The maggots of this fly are the problem, can attack leeks as well as onions. The plant will turn yellow before dying.