in pepper tree leaves
native macropiper plants keep getting eaten by something. It happens
every year - holes everywhere - but I've never seen the culprit.
(Macropiper excelsum, also known as pepper tree) is frequently
attacked by the caterpillar of a native moth, which leaves the foliage
looking rather moth-eaten. The caterpillar feeds mostly at night,
hiding from predators during the day, which explains why you haven't
been able to spot it. You could spray with an insecticide such as
Rogor 100 or Target but by the time you see the damage, the beetle
has often moved on or the caterpillar pupated, so you could be spraying
in vain. Try one of the offshore varieties, such as Macropiper
melchior from Three Kings Islands, whose lush glossy foliage
seems resistant to most pests.
Gardener, Issue 137, 2003, Page 27
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.