What bugs are these on my raspberries and how do I get rid of them?
January 8, 2013 4:04 PM   Subscribe

These little moth-like things are ALL OVER my raspberry plants. I am in Canberra, Australia. They just arrived, so I don't know what damage they are going to do (yet). How screwed am I and how do I get rid of them?

There are also these tiny little things, and one or two of the beetles in this picture. I don't even know what any of them are, so I can't google for solutions.

For what it's worth, there are holes in all the raspberry leaves, but I think that was snails and slugs, which I now have under control. And they are still producing raspberries prolifically anyway.
posted by lollusc to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Those look like leafhoppers rather than moths. You can remove them with jets of water (especially the young ones) or use insecticidal soap to control them. You could also attract the things that eat them, if you'd rather go that route. Your local gardening center can direct you to ways to get rid of them as well.

As for the other two things, the first looks ant or wasp-related. No idea on the beetle.
posted by jquinby at 4:32 PM on January 8, 2013

...and specifically, Passionvine Hoppers looks like a good match.
posted by jquinby at 4:36 PM on January 8, 2013

I think the insect in your Tiny Little Things photo is possibly Centrodora sp, an insect that parasitizes the eggs of the Passion Vine Hopper.

You won't see the holes the PVH make, they are sucking pests.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:46 PM on January 8, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks! Definitely passionvine hoppers (scolypopa australis), judging from those links. That's very helpful. Jets of water don't work - we've been doing that for a couple of days and the numbers are increasing anyway. They just fly off until the water stops.

Any ideas about what eats them? We have a few ladybirds around, but I guess the PVH are too big for them! We don't get much in the way of birds in the garden (and I don't want to attract any more) because of our cat. We do get some lizards sometimes, but I don't know how to attract more of them.

I think we'll probably try the insecticidal soap - any recommendations on brands? Otherwise I'll ask at our garden centre this weekend. I'm assuming from the links that these things are more of a long-term problem than an immediate one, i.e. the plants aren't going to be irreparably damaged within the next few days?

I'm not SO concerned about the other two bugs. The beetles are not very numerous, and although the little things are, if they are parasitic on the PVH, or attracted by the honeydew, then taking care of the PVH should get rid of them too.
posted by lollusc at 4:57 PM on January 8, 2013

Not sure about brands, but your local garden center or nursery should be able to point you in the right direction for sure. Might try the local botanical garden, arboretum, or the Australian version of US cooperative extension service.
posted by jquinby at 5:41 PM on January 8, 2013

Best answer: Any ideas about what eats them? We have a few ladybirds around, but I guess the PVH are too big for them!

The Centrodora are what "eat" them. :) They lay eggs on the egg cases (or larvae, don't recall) of the PVH and the baby Centrodoras munch on the larvae. That's why they are parasitic.

Personally, I would start by blasting off the PVH with a hose, if possible. It works for many things as a first line of defense.
posted by oneirodynia at 6:03 PM on January 8, 2013

Response by poster: Oh cool, I didn't realise the parasites would kill them. That's not very smart for a parasite, is it? Don't they want to keep them alive so they can keep using them as a host?

In that case, I am happy to wait and see.

I think you are right about the beetle. It does have those sorts of sawtoothed things.

And oneirodynia - I HAVE been blasting with a hose, but it's not helping.
posted by lollusc at 7:06 PM on January 8, 2013

Get yourself a spray bottle. Fill it close to the brim with hot water, then add a dash of cooking oil (not TOO much oil), a bit of dishwashing liquid, and a bunch of DRIED CHILLI. Give it a good shake and let the chilli seep for a while. I use this on my plants at home - just a misting every couple of days, across the entire plant, doesn't matter what it is - and there is NOTHING it hasn't stopped (it won't kill any creatures, of course, so you're likely just going to transplant the problem, but...yeah).

When I first made this mix, though, I misoverestimated the ratios, and put way too much oil in. Result? The leafy foilage, covered with olive oil, resulted in sun-crisped kale. Which is not, unfortunately, delicious.
posted by turgid dahlia 2 at 7:10 PM on January 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

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