How gardeners can help plant-eating insects instead of killing them

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AS MOST of the UK recovers from a frigid April and a soggy May, its gardens are starting to perk up. That means so are caterpillars, aphids such as greenflies, and other plant-feeding invertebrates generally seen as the gardener’s foes.

A common reaction to seeing prized plants covered with bugs is to reach for the pesticide spray. But we should temper that instinct, says Andrew Salisbury, principal entomologist at the UK Royal Horticultural Society. Many invertebrate species in the UK and elsewhere are in decline, and gardens can be a haven – the UK’s home gardens collectively add up …

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