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Pest that won't leaf us alone.

Byline: By ALLISON MARTIN

HE'S ugly, totally insatiable - and is wreaking havoc across Britain.

Now the rosemary leaf beetle has been officially included among our top 10 garden pests.

The herb-munching menace is already a major problem in the south.

And experts fear it is about to head north.

The bug, which arrived from southern Europe in the 90s, feeds on rosemary, lavender, thyme and sage.

It is now the fourth most asked about pest on the Royal Horticultural Society's advisory list.

Identified by its green and purple stripes, it was beaten only by slugs and snails, the lily beetle and wine weevil.

One reason for its increase could be that it seems to have no natural enemies. And using pesticides is not recommended on herbs which are to be used in the kitchen.

RHS spokesman Andrew Halstead said: "The beetle has been spreading for the past few years and seems likely to continue doing so."

CAPTION(S):

PEST: Leaf beetle
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Apr 18, 2006
Words:161
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