Being bugged by the tiniest garden pests

Cabbage white butterflies have just arrived in force and are trying to access the netted brassicas.

Sunday, 29th July 2018, 4:43 pm
A yellow courgette bloom attracts the pollen beetles. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

But truth to tell, the recent hot, dry weather has not encouraged the plant pest problem anticipated – so far.

It’s the gardeners who have been under attack from the tiniest bugs – harvest flies. On two occasions they’ve driven us indoors.

With the approach of our local flower shows, I see an even bigger problem for flower exhibitors if the hordes of pollen beetles continue. They’re a nuisance, especially when attracted to sweet pea blooms.

Some growers place a prepared vase in a dark corner of the garage overnight, hoping to encourage migration toward a window in daylight, but this is not always effective.

Sweet peas apart, pollen beetles are partial to the colour yellow. Last week I found them on courgette blooms, roses and day lilies.

Friend Jim once proved the point by wearing a bright yellow jersey on one of our walks, and recently, when a fellow hotel guest turned up for outdoor breakfast wearing a butter-coloured polo top, guess what happened!