Wednesday, February 3, 2010

the grape vine moth

You have to accept in Australia that the native wildlife will be more venomous, more stingy and bitey, and more scary than anywhere else in the world, and generally best avoided whenever possible. After today we are also beginning to realise that if the native creatures cannot kill with a single bite then overwhelming in groups of hundreds of thousands will suffice.

So, what can turn this.......

From Protea Farm 1 this, in a matter of hours?

From Protea Farm 1

Answer- several battalions of these fat juicy grape vine caterpillars.

From Protea Farm 1

So now we know what those pretty black and white butterfly/moth things have been up to for the last few days. It is impossible to describe the numbers-maybe the fact that Ness spotted the linear mountain range of caterpillar poo on the ground before she spotted the denuded grape vine may give you a clue.

We used the small amount of pymethrum spray we had (which was as effective as pissing in the wind) before admitting defeat and cutting back the vines which had not yet been totally stripped and giving the prunings to the chooks who are still happily scrapping over fat, juicy ( and hopefully non-venomous ) caterpillars.

Those which did drop off and die were pounced upon by a platoon of our least favourite garden pest the purple ant.

From Protea Farm 1

Ness has been banned from going near the cottage until the purple ants have gone because she has alarming allergic reactions when bitten by one.

What a fun day.

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