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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 26th May 2019
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Exclamation When the beasties come...

Who are you going to call?

Can you help? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-48383730
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Old 26th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

Neither links seem to work. But heck, if there is a record of every cuckoo spit in the country, the file would be gigantic.....
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Old 26th May 2019
Keith-369 Keith-369 is offline
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

Yes. I spotted quite a few of the red and black beetles the other day whilst walking round a local lake.

Unfortunately, like MJ224, neither link works for me either. Maybe they are being so inundated with reports that the site has collapsed. I'll try later.
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Old 26th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

Seems the BeeB have actually found something of real interest.


Before I posted the link I had tried it out and it did work?

This piqued my interest as I saw some of these back in early April and had no idea of what they were... until I found the BBC post. Unfortunately, where they were spotted is an area of interest as we have a rare orchid which comes under a protected species order.

Have just come back and found the same issue(s). The little toe-rags are still around so I may try passing on the info via the following link which has contact information?


The site is undergoing a huge surge of interest and is struggling to cope as per https://www.xylemfeedinginsects.co.uk/
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Old 26th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

Just managed to get my reports .. er ... reported
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Old 26th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

I am sorry to try and bring sanity to the BBC and other media armchair environmentalists but this is a complete nonsense as so much citizen surveying is. (I include the big butterfly count and others like it). The froghopper is a relatively common and harmless indigenous bug. I have been familiar with it all of my adult life and repeat, it is harmless. Enjoy counting them. But please don't kill them.

The bacteria Xylella fastidiosa is a plant disease which doesn't occur in the UK and will only come here because of agriculture/horticulture. If it arrives it will do so because of the import of cheaply grown plants from elsewhere in the world. There are now restrictions on those imports and there is major panic because it has hit an EU cash crop - olives. So we must protect that at all costs. To protect global trade the solution is to attack the innocent bystanders.

DEFRA tells us "Eradication measures for Xylella in the event of an outbreak have been set out in emergency EU legislation. When Xylella is detected in an outbreak situation, all hosts within 100 metres must be destroyed and the area treated to control the vectors. There will also be measures placed on businesses trading in host plants within 5 km. The implementation of these measures would lead to environmental and social impacts." (The vectors is code for insects).

Basically this is the 'mad cow disease' solution. Kill everything.

So the EU plan that areas will be sprayed with wide spectrum insecticides and all plants burned. Much better to be 'safe than sorry' And those insecticides will not just kill froghoppers. So all other insects will be hit. And the birds that depend upon them....and so on up the food chain.

If you believe that the public authorities will do better with this than with other 'invasions' such as the Oak Processionary Moth - then I don't. Insect life in my local wood is only just recovering from the carpet bombing of insecticide to 'save us' from this caterpillar. Which was similarly imported with cheap Oak trees brought in to the UK from Europe. (I thought we could grow Oak trees - we used to be quite good at that). have a look at wikipedia if you have never heard about that one...

I despair of mankind. Man causes the issues and then blames and kills the plants and insects who were bystanders.

If you just read enough about insect extinction then I think you might understand my annoyance at this stupidity - More than 40% of insect species are declining and a third are endangered. The rate of extinction is eight times faster than that of mammals, birds and reptiles. The total mass of insects is falling by a precipitous 2.5% a year, according to the best data available, suggesting they could vanish within a century. (source Guardian quoting an international study - one of many - https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...06320718313636)

And if you have time to do even more surveying why not join in with Plantlife Who want us to believe that our lawns will help sustain the insect and bee population if we grow more dandelions. Having lost 97% of meadows since the 1930s - equivalent to the area of Wales and half of Wales again....farmers now need our help. Apparently.

But if your lawn dandelion has a froghopper on it then it will be aerial sprayed with insecticide, which may or may not kill the bees, the EU can't decide on that one....because agri-chemical companies have a vested interest in that....

I love insects, sorry if I sound a little frustrated with the ruling elite who don't. If you don't like insects then just think that we need them to pollinate, and dispose of waste and other hidden activity. And look at the insects photos, that may be all we have soon.
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Old 26th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

Peter

I agree with you, I saw the BBC new item this morning and was left thinking what are they trying to acheive.
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Old 27th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

I agree with the main thrust of your argument wholeheartedly, but I'm not sure about this comment
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... but this is a complete nonsense as so much citizen surveying is. (I include the big butterfly count and others like it).
Done properly "citizen surveying" can be a great tool - for instance in 1974 a botanist Oliver Gilbert devised an experiment where schoolchildren could do a simplistic survey of lichen. This resulted in a UK-wide map of acid-polluted air in the UK, which graphically illustrated the problem of urban acid rain.
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Old 27th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

The disease isn't recorded in the UK yet. If it comes it will be on cultivated plants.

Before we joined the EU any imported plants had to have a phytosanitary certificate and be sent bare-rooted. Some (CITES rules) required a permit.

Now, trade across the EU is unrestricted. I have myself, in recent months, imported cacti form Bulgaria, Italy, Poland and France. Some were bare-rooted, most potted in compost. None had or required a phytosanitary certificate or permit.

My plants were of no interest to spittle bugs.

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Old 27th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

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Yes. I spotted quite a few of the red and black beetles .
Bugs, please. Beetles don't suck sap and don't pass on plant diseases.

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Old 27th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

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I agree with the main thrust of your argument wholeheartedly, but I'm not sure about this comment

Done properly "citizen surveying" can be a great tool - for instance in 1974 a botanist Oliver Gilbert devised an experiment where schoolchildren could do a simplistic survey of lichen. This resulted in a UK-wide map of acid-polluted air in the UK, which graphically illustrated the problem of urban acid rain.
You are probably right. But I didn't say all. But, for me, a few pieces of well constructed research don't make badly conceived ones better. I am sure others could add to the list of good citizen surveys, but I do feel reasonably happy with my suggestion that this is not well conceived. But I was only trying to let off steam, something I need to do more and more lately. I apologise if anyone felt slighted by it.

If you look at the map of the spread of the bacteria where it has got a foothold, then there is going to be a huge amount of broad spectrum insecticide being deployed. And the UK has the same plans in place to kill everything within a 500m radius if we get cases. And the cause is known to be horticulture not insect transmission.
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Old 27th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

I haven't seen any of the red and black jobs for over 60 years! I can remember that they seemed to 'dematerialise' - they were there one moment, then disappeared.

Jim
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Old 28th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters



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Old 28th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

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Beetles don't suck sap and don't pass on plant diseases.
Except Dutch Elm Disease, spread by bark beetles.

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Old 30th May 2019
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Re: 4 the beady eyed bug-hunters

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Bugs, please. Beetles don't suck sap and don't pass on plant diseases.
A lot of people use the American habit of referring to all insects as 'bugs'. I'm not in favour of it!

Jim
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