Gooseberry sawfly: photos, control and prevention measures

The gooseberry sawfly (Latin Nematus ribesii) is one of the most dangerous pests of gooseberry and currant bushes. If you do not fight the sawfly on the gooseberry, carrying out the recommended agrotechnical measures, then the loss of yield and the death of plants will be inevitable.

What a gooseberry sawfly looks like

There are two types of pest: yellow gooseberry sawfly and pale-footed:

  • The adults (imago) of the yellow sawfly are reddish yellow;
  • The second, pale-footed, type of dangerous beetle has a black color interspersed with light spots on the body and legs. The length of the insects is no more than 8 mm.

In the larval stage, sawflies resemble their relatives, but, unlike them, they have not 8, but 10 pairs of legs. Experts call gooseberry sawfly larvae false caterpillars. The color of the yellow sawfly larvae is bluish-green, the insects are covered with black growths, similar to warts, which grow up to 18 mm in length. Moreover, in a black sawfly they are smaller, no more than 1 cm, green.

At the end of summer, the larvae go into the ground under the bushes to a depth of 6 - 12 cm, where they pupate and winter safely. With the arrival of spring, adult insects appear from pupae, their active phase coincides with the beginning of flowering of red or black currants.

During this period, the young leaves of the gooseberry are just beginning to unfold, and the females of the sawfly begin to lay eggs, cutting small depressions along the main vein of the leaf. Each female lays up to 60 eggs on the underside of the leaves.

In cuts - "pockets" sawfly larvae quickly appear and grow. First, they gnaw through small holes, and then completely destroy the leaf blade. The sawfly larvae have five growth stages, each lasting 20 to 25 days. Then the insects fall to the ground and pupate. This is the first, spring generation of the sawfly pest.

In total, 3-4 generations of the sawfly manages to develop on gooseberries over the summer in central Russia. The last generation leaves for the winter, the cocoon of which is denser and darker than the summer one. Gooseberries need regular inspection of their leaves, since the fight against the sawfly should be started as early as possible.

What harm does a gooseberry sawfly do?

Yellow and pale-footed gooseberry sawflies literally gnaw the leaves of gooseberries and currants, leaving only veins. They harm crops, being in the larval phase. The second - fourth generations, that is, summer representatives, are especially gluttonous and dangerous. Removing the first layer of the parasite is not easy, but fighting the second and third generations takes even more time and effort.

The first generation usually goes unnoticed by gardeners. The first eaten leaves dry up without having time to grow, and the fight with the sawfly is not carried out. However, the first generation, missed and not destroyed, gives life to the second, which already causes much more harm to the gooseberry.

The second generation takes off before the berries ripen, in the middle of summer. It is the most numerous and causes the most significant harm. It happens that the fight against him starts too late. Insects attack currants and then move on to gooseberries.For one to two weeks, the bushes can be left without leaves, which weakens the plants, reduces growth and winter hardiness.

Due to the defeat by the sawfly, small, prematurely falling berries are formed. Strong colonization by a pest reduces the productivity of the bushes in the current year and does not allow the formation of a future crop. Having noticed the signs of the sawfly's presence, you need to immediately begin the fight. The third and fourth generations are smaller and develop mainly on gooseberries.

Gooseberry sawfly control methods

The harm from sawflies to gooseberry bushes can be enormous if you do not fight and let things go. The bushes should be inspected regularly in order to take timely measures and prevent pests from multiplying. The gooseberry sawfly damages the gooseberry with foci, nests. The number of pests in different years is more or less.

If such insects are found in a summer cottage, an urgent need to take control measures. Moreover, if you know the description and photo of the enemy of currants and gooseberries "in the face". The next year, the complex struggle should be started in early spring. This will significantly reduce the subsequent summer hassle of fighting the gooseberry sawfly.

Photo of a gooseberry sawfly:

How to deal with a sawfly on a gooseberry with folk remedies

The methods that have long been used by the people are very good at destroying the larvae of sawflies, and at the same time - and other pests of the product. These are mostly infusions or decoctions. For their preparation, substances and plants that are harmless to humans are used.

Folk methods are good because they can be used at any time: during flowering, pouring and ripening berries. They do not kill beneficial insects, do not interfere with pollination. You can eat berries sprayed with folk remedies on the same day. They just need to be rinsed well.

In addition to the protective effect, many folk remedies are at the same time feeding gooseberries. Due to this, the immunity of plants increases, they grow better, become stronger and are less affected by pests.

Such treatments can be repeated after 7 - 10 days, if necessary, more often. It is useful to alternate the treatment with ash and herbal infusions. Fixed assets used:

  1. Infusion of tomato tops... It is prepared at the end of flowering (for this, stepchildren and the lower leaves of tomatoes are taken): 1 kg of green mass is poured with boiling water and cooled. A solution of liquid laundry soap (50 ml) is added to the strained solution for better adhesion. This amount of infusion is enough for 2 - 3 bushes. Treatments can be repeated several times over the summer, they also destroy aphids well.
  2. Ash infusion... Obtained from wood ash. Take 1 kg of sifted ash per 10 liters of hot water, insist for three days. Leaves are treated with a filtered solution from the lower and upper sides.
    Currant and gooseberry bushes are also watered by sprinkling. After watering, sprinkle with wood ash on wet leaves.
  3. Chamomile infusion... For its preparation, take 1 kg of medicinal chamomile plants, cut and fill with hot water. After insisting for 10 - 12 hours, the infusion is filtered, diluted in half with water. Add soap and spray the bushes.
  4. Bitter wormwood infusion... Prepare a remedy from 1.2 kg of grass in 10 liters of water. After a three-day infusion, filter the infusion, add 70 grams of baking soda and spray the plants.
  5. Needle infusion... Pour 2 kg of coniferous branches into a bucket and fill it with water. Insist for 6 - 8 days in the dark and filter. This is a concentrated product, before use it is diluted with water three to five times.

How to destroy a gooseberry sawfly with chemicals

Chemicals should be used in the garden in critical cases, because some of the chemical gets into the berries.

During the period when buds appear on currants and gooseberries, they are sprayed with karbofos.To do this, take 75 g of powder per 10 liters of water.

Attention! Poisons should not be sprayed on flowering plants: this will kill the pollinating insects of bees and bumblebees.

The preparations "Iskra", "Decis", "Aktara", "Confidor", "Kinmiks" help well against pests eating leaves.

Chemicals can be processed in the evening and morning hours. At this time, the activity of beneficial insects-entomophages (ladybirds, hoverflies), which eat the larvae of pests, is reduced.

To prevent the plants from getting chemical burns, in dry weather they need to be watered before spraying.

Mechanical measures to control the gooseberry sawfly

Among the mechanical methods of dealing with the gooseberry pest, the following have proven their effectiveness:

  1. Before budding in the spring, you should shallowly loosen the soil under the currants and gooseberries, after scattering around each bush 2 cups of wood ash mixed with 1 tbsp. a spoonful of dry mustard and 1 tbsp. a spoonful of ground red pepper. Then you need to bring under the bushes, a film or roofing material, the edges of which are covered with earth. This method helps to simultaneously fight the gooseberry moth: adults flying out of the pupae encounter an obstacle - a film and die under it.
  2. Hilling is considered an effective way to destroy sawfly beetles flying out of the ground. To do this, you need to take soil from row spacings or humus. The trunk circle under the currants and gooseberries must be covered with a layer of soil clean from pests to a height of 10 cm: the sawflies will not be able to get out through such an obstacle.
  3. Throughout the season, it is important to shake off the detected larvae on a spread film and destroy them. In addition, damaged berries in which the larva sits should be burned. For convenience, you can put a bucket of soapy water near the currant or gooseberry bush and throw insects into it.
  4. In the fall, it will be useful to re-dig the soil under the bushes. This measure will help to destroy the larvae that have left for the winter.

Prevention measures

Each pest recognizes "its prey" by smell. Preventive methods of dealing with the gooseberry sawfly are aimed at scaring away the parasite or "confusing it." To prevent insects from smelling an attractive plant for them, plants with sharp, interrupting aromas are planted around currants and gooseberries. Alternatively, you can place the source of the interrupting odor in a jar next to the bushes. Plants and substances that repel pests include:

  • tansy;
  • garlic;
  • tomatoes;
  • elderberry branches;
  • tar;
  • turpentine;
  • creolin.

Traps with pheromones are an effective method against the sawfly: substances that, on the contrary, attract sawflies. Moving to the attractive smell, the beetles fall on the adhesive tape, from which they can no longer peel off.

Advice! Digging up soil under plants, collecting and burning dry branches and leaves in the fall will also have a pest prevention effect.


It is necessary to fight the sawfly on the gooseberry promptly, paying attention in time to the first signs of the appearance of the pest - the first leaves of the bush eaten by its larvae. After that, it is important to choose suitable control methods - folk or chemical plant protection products. The gooseberry sawfly is a very dangerous pest of currants and gooseberries, due to which the gardener can completely lose the harvest of berries.

Give feedback