Another Animal Hunt   5 comments

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/toxic-caterpillars-pesticide-destroy-bug-190112759.html#MHrV2z2

 

This time it is the oak processionary caterpillar, which is covered in tiny hairs and cause breathing problems in humans and animals. They were brought to this country several years ago from Europe when the Government decided to import Oak from Europe.

 

English Oak is all but gone, so import a foreign plant and see things get out of control, again. How many times will they do this bull before they learn?

 

But it is OK, because the chemical they will be using to cover the forests where these little buggers are living is not toxic to Humans and the Forestry Commission will monitor the Moths, bats, and butterfly  But what happens if it harms others? Too Late, the Damage will have been done.

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5 responses to “Another Animal Hunt

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  1. I can pretty much tell you what the monitoring is going to uncover: This stuff is bad for butterflies.

    Bt (as it’s called for short) is a natural soil bacterium, and its actual purpose in life apparently is to control pest insects. Here the pest that causes the most concern is the Colorado potato beetle, which can destroy an entire crop in a matter of days. Bt in the soil kills them, and it is used as an organic pesticide here.

    The catch: It’s used organically by putting it on the soil, where it kills the bugs and degrades back to baseline soil levels in a matter of days; that’s why it’s safe. Monsanto (of course) developed potatoes and corn that have Bt as part of their genetic structure. The potatoes kill the hell out of the beetles, but they found a bit of a problem with the corn plants. Milkweed is one of the major weeds found in cornfields; it’s also the major food and egg-host plant of the monarch butterfly. That’s good for the corn; the butterflies pick up corn pollen as well as milkweed (monarchs are important pollinating insects for several crops). But when it’s Bt corn, it’s bad for the butterflies; the Bt kills the caterpillars when they eat the corn-pollen dusted milkweed leaves. (All this information can, by the way, be found in Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire, along with his list of sources.)

    So I’d expect this: If any species of butterfly depends on those trees for a major part of its life-cycle, that butterfly is going to suffer a huge die-off of the next generation. Any beneficial beetles would bear watching, too.

    • Yes GG i know you are right. Monsanto keep cropping up, (no pun intended, but what the hell, I’ll run with it). But if we know this, then I am guessing that the Forestry commission also knows, which begs the question, are they doing right by the Government, or the Forest. The former methinks. I am guessing that Monsanto but bt in their weedkiller, which, now after the new EU law, is the main one on sale. Begs the question who advised who. This is why I leave my garden wild, because we have a lot of bugs and butterfly and bees and hoverflies. If we are still here in full summer, Greebo is going to have a lot of fun in the garden lol.

      I am going to have to get in touch with the FC and the Environment Minister and see what can be done differently. Not that either will take any notice of me, hell even Buglife never replied to me regarding the decline of Bees. But taking the fight to them is the right thing to do.

      • The critical question as I understand it is how quickly Bt degrades when used on foliage. If it’s as quickly as it does when used on soil, any problems are likely to be minimal. If it takes longer, that opens the door to more problems.

  2. I will have to look into that GG, but it could mean several species of Moth and butterfly die from that area, and I have noticed a sharp decline over the last 3 or 4 years just in my garden. Granted some will be the birds which are thriving due to the food I put out, But I am talking down to a handful of butterflys and 3 or 4 species, when I had hundreds and upto a dozen different species. Plus they do feed on different plants, like the speckled Wood goes for bramble, and the little blue one, Royal Blue I think it was called and the Gatekeeper feed on Thistles and ragwort. We had a breeding pair of Woods, and I did not see them last year.

    Something is going on with them, as well as the Bees and hovers. Granted the area covered by the new Butterfly is away from here, but if they travel though the area, just like your Monarchs.

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