Vegetable Garden

Watch Your Bush! Gooseberry Sawflies may devastate it.

July 9, 2013

If you’re growing red or white currents or gooseberries you might like to pop outside and check them NOW!

gooseberry sawfly

gooseberry sawfly larvae

This pretty little caterpillar isn’t as cute as it looks. It’s the larvae of a sawfly that can devastate a currant or gooseberry fruit bush in a couple of days, stripping them of all their foliage and leaving them weak.

The gooseberry sawfly can have three generations over a year from April to September. Once the caterpillars are full they drop into the soil and pupate.

How can you deal with the Gooseberry Sawfly organically?

Vigilance! From April onwards check your fruit and currant bushes for larvae, picking any off by hand that you spot.

If you do spot them you can buy Nemasys Grow Your Own and water the nematodes onto plants. Mr Middleton stock them in Ireland and can post them out.

Try to encourage beneficial insects to your garden that will feed on them.

I’m trying a garlic spray on our redcurrants in the hope it will halt the caterpillars in their tracks.



  • Reply Carrie May 21, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    I used NEEM oil spray on my dessert gooseberry this year. It seemed to work (after a few repeated sprays) and my gooseberry is recovering nicely.

    • Reply greensideupveg May 22, 2014 at 10:42 am

      Hi Carrie, that’s useful to know, thanks! Hopefully they’ll stay away.

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