Gooseberry worms - Knowledgebase Question

Arvada, Co
Question by cwcvincent
June 2, 2010
We have worms on our goooseberry bushes. They only eat the leaves, what do we use to get rid of them and not ruin the the fruit for eating.


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Answer from NGA
June 2, 2010

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The imported currant worm, Nematis ribesii (Scopoli), is the most serious insect pest of currants and gooseberries. If the foliage is consumed by small, spotted, caterpillar-like larvae, imported currant worms are the culprits. The adults are sawflies about the size of a housefly. Two generations hatch each year, causing damage in the spring and again in late summer. Bacillus thuringiensis-based products such as Dipel or Thuricide and/or a broad-spectrum insecticide should control this insect. Start looking for damage shortly after the leaves have fully expanded. The second generation usually is less severe than the first and does not require treatment. Bt is a bacterium which acts as a stomach poison and targets only caterpillars. It won't harm the fruits and won't harm you when you consume them.

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