Ilex VS Gooseberry Sawfly – Nematus ribesii

Last year, my gooseberries were defoliated before I even figured out what was going on.  I wasn’t totally miffed, however we got only a handful of gooseberries.


This year, I’ve found the culprits… Gooseberry Sawfly – Nematus ribesii.

These guys cleared this shrub in less than one day. I’ve got many flowers that are blooming in this garden bed and visit it daily.

The treatment for them is the same for rose sawfly – Endelomyia aethiops.

Larvae can be effectively controlled with a neem oil product or an insecticidal soap. Spray only the leaves (both sides), in the morning as neem oil can possibility hurt pollinators  The strategy is to find larvae while they are still small and before damage becomes severe. You can also use a garden blower to launch them far away from the plant chemical free!!

There is no need for control after the larvae have finished eating and left the plants, give or take mid-July.

rose sawfly – Endelomyia aethiops.

Just for the record, using dish soap is not acceptable for a cheap substitute for horticultural soap. Now-a-days, the dish soap is not soap anymore, detergent is the main ingredient and modern soap lacks the fatty acids that are helpful in killing the insect.

10 thoughts on “Ilex VS Gooseberry Sawfly – Nematus ribesii

  1. I always thank the blackbirds when they come and visit the grape vine. They clean up the caterpillers and then they go away and come back later and eat all the grapes. You have to quick.


  2. Plant munchers come in all sizes. This morning I watched a pregnant doe eat about a quarter of the tiger liiy buds and flowers in the large bed outside my office. She normally eats weeds in the “lawn.” It is not a problem; she left some for the hummingbirds and bees.


Time to fire-up the chair-to-keyboard interface!!!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s