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What to do if you think you have a foreign pest in your garden

Bringing plants, seeds, of cuttings into the country from outside may result in also bringing in diseases and pests, which many amateur gardeners fail to think about when they make a decision to do so.

Thus, it pays to be aware of the rules about bringing plants into the country after a holiday to make sure that you do not contribute to the spread of disease.

As a general rule of thumb, travellers are allowed to bring a plant back to the country if they are bringing it from another country that is part of the EU and it is free of diseases and pests.

The guidelines surrounding bringing a plant back into the country from outside of the EU are a lot stricter and change by country thus anyone concerned with the matter should consult the document ‘Bringing Plants in from Abroad’ which is available for free download on the RHS website.

At the moment the most recent invader to Britain is the citrus longhorn beetle, which threatens garden plants and wildlife and was brought in through the nursery trade.  The beetle larvae feed on the lower trunk and roots of a large variety of trees and shrubs.

This particular beetle has been seen on the Acer palmatum in south east England and those in the area should be on the lookout for a black beetle that is about an inch long with white on its wings.  Other signs to look for include black bodies with white bands and antennae that are longer than the actual body of the bug.

Anyone that suspects the pest is in their garden is advised to call 01904 455174.


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