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The caterpillars of angle shades moth can feed on a wide range of wild and cultivated plants. They can be particularly damaging when they eat unopened flower buds.
Common name Angle shadesScientific name Phlogophora meticulosaPlants affected Many herbaceous and woody ornamental plantsMain symptoms Holes eaten in foliage and flower budsMost active All year
The caterpillars of the moth cause problems by eating foliage and flower buds. The adult is not a pest and has an interesting wing pattern and shape that resembles a withered autumn leaf.
The caterpillars of this moth can cause damage to plants at all times of the year but are most common in May-October.
Torch-light inspections of damaged plants on mild nights should reveal caterpillars; these can be removed by hand. The caterpillars can be placed on wild plants such as nettle and bramble to continue their life cycle.
If infestations are too heavy for hand picking, control can be achieved by spraying at dusk with synthetic pesticides such as deltamethrin (e.g. Bayer Sprayday Greenfly Killer), lambda-cyhalothrin (e.g. Westland Resolva Bug Killer), cypermethrin (e.g. Py Bug Killer) or the organic pesticide pyrethrum (e.g. Defenders Bug Killer). The older caterpillars are more tolerant of pesticides than young larvae. These products can be used on some edible plants, check the label and ensure instructions are followed. Plants in flower should not be sprayed due to the danger to bees and other pollinating insects.
Pesticides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining pesticides available to gardeners)
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