21st Oct, 2017

'Super moths' spotted in Wellesbourne

Leamington Editorial 27th Jun, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

GARDENERS have been warned to be on the lookout for an invasion of ‘super moths’ after the crop-destroying insects were spotted in Wellesbourne.

The diamond back moth is considered a dangerous pest as it is resistant to most insecticides and the caterpillars can wipe out cabbage and cauliflower crops.

Experts have warned numbers are exceptionally high at nearly ten times over the usual level.

And with warm weather expected over the coming weeks, there could be a boom in the number of the super moths by the end of summer.

Wellesbourne is just one of the places which has seen a rise in the number of moths, along with Leominster and Lincolnshire.

Kenneth Manning of the Wellesbourne Allotment Association told the Observer: “I have noticed small moths flying around for the last month or so around our cabbage and sprout plants.

“We now know these are the diamondback moths which can have a devastating impact on some crops.

“It is difficult to assess the impact the moths might have at the moment as there are a lot of cabbage aphids around, but it does sound serious.”

And Stratford Butterfly Farm manager Richard Lamb is also warning the moths could affect crops this year.

He said: “The diamond back moth seems to have had a very successful late spring brood all across Europe and has turned up in moth traps in exceptional numbers.

“Several hundred are recorded every year but this year there are thousands. They eat holes in the leaves of plants in the cabbage family and could possibly cause a real nuisance with this crop this summer.”

Those wanting to find out more about the moths can visit the Wellesbourne Allotment open day on Sunday July 3 between 2pm and 5pm.

Visitors can look around the site and talk to the gardeners about the insects and the allotment along with enjoying stalls, a live band and ‘best scarecrow’ competition.

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