Being bugged by the tiniest garden pests

A yellow courgette bloom attracts the pollen beetles. Picture by Tom Pattinson.
A yellow courgette bloom attracts the pollen beetles. Picture by Tom Pattinson.

Cabbage white butterflies have just arrived in force and are trying to access the netted brassicas.

But truth to tell, the recent hot, dry weather has not encouraged the plant pest problem anticipated – so far.

It’s the gardeners who have been under attack from the tiniest bugs – harvest flies. On two occasions they’ve driven us indoors.

With the approach of our local flower shows, I see an even bigger problem for flower exhibitors if the hordes of pollen beetles continue. They’re a nuisance, especially when attracted to sweet pea blooms.

Some growers place a prepared vase in a dark corner of the garage overnight, hoping to encourage migration toward a window in daylight, but this is not always effective.

Sweet peas apart, pollen beetles are partial to the colour yellow. Last week I found them on courgette blooms, roses and day lilies.

Friend Jim once proved the point by wearing a bright yellow jersey on one of our walks, and recently, when a fellow hotel guest turned up for outdoor breakfast wearing a butter-coloured polo top, guess what happened!