The Voracious Sawfly Larvae

Sawfly Larva

It looks like a thin leaf in this picture, but that’s the little villain in the center of this photo.  And that dark stuff that is sprinkled throughout the webbing.  Ten guesses what that is.  And the dark patch just above the little worm?  That’s the remains of its dinner (and lunch and breakfast).

The only good thing about these little critters is that they grow up and fly away.  Until this spring I’ve only seen them on the white dawn climber in the front garden.  I’ve pinched off all of the ones I’ve been able to reach and I suspect my careful pinching last spring reduced the number of larvae that I had to smoosh this year.  I’ve only found a couple on the hansa roses.  The larvae in the photo above was one of them.

Sawflies have saw-like ovipositors that allow them to saw into foliage so they can lay their eggs.

Yuck.

Sawfly larvae

Oh, yuck.  Those little monsters are back again, feasting on my White Dawn climber in the front.  I gave them a dose of insecticidal soap yesterday but that didn’t see to banish those hungry little beasties.  So, I resorted to violence.  I plucked every little shoot that had little dark spotted webs and stomped on them.  I must admit that was rather therapeutic.  I checked the old un-named climber in back and didn’t see anything on it, but I’m sure I will see signs within the next day or two.  I’ll need to check every day and get rid of the larvae when I see them.  The good thing about these little green worms is that they grow up and fly away.  But until then, they seem to hunger for my climbing roses.

Today was the first day I could get into the garden this week.  Rain, cold, and work kept me out.  I dug up an old peony and gave it to a friend.  I warned her that peonies don’t like to be transplanted, but she was willing to take the chance.  I plan to plant four more emerald arborvitae and the old peony was in the way.  My friend Maja was alarmed that I was going to banish a peony, but perhaps I will get a new one and plant it some place.  Maybe it will be white.  Or, red!  I love red.  Anyway, today I did some weeding.