Sunday, 12 July 2009

Interesting visitors or regular inhabitants?

This was the first one which we found last summer and we were amazed to see it on this rose. We wondered where it had come from and how it was surviving. The best guess was that at the end of term some child had brought it home from school to look after and then it had escaped! We then, over the next four months found several more, mostly on the Hypericum. They were all adults and all seemed very healthy. In case you are wondering what they are, they are Stick Insects!

Then this spring I found a baby one clinging to the Weigela. Another one in the garage and one in the kitchen. So obviously my adults were breeding. But where? And how had they survived over the very cold winter we had had?


And then recently I found another one, again a baby, on a plastic tub in my kitchen. And after that several more on the Hypericum. All babies. I haven’t yet seen an adult Stick Insect this year yet! There is time!


I have to be especially careful when cutting branches off the Weigela as these tiny creatures just drop onto one, or onto the ground where they could be trodden underfoot!

This is obviously turning into a wild life post. So here is a picture of two young blackbirds taking dirt baths under my currant bushes. I don’t think the blackcurrant roots will have been overjoyed as they are very shallow rooted! DSCF0001 To really see the picture click on it to enlarge. I had to take it from inside the house so as not to frighten them away!

And it has stopped raining!


  1. Wow, crazy! I can't believe they're surviving! I wonder what type they are? Ones I had as a child were brown rather than green and ate privet so I can well imagine they can survive in the UK - just wouldn't have expected they could survive the winter. So perhaps it's a case of them dying off but the eggs hatch in the spring/summer and this is why you're seeing only youngsters so far??

    They're mainly all female and can reproduce without a male, they lay eggs or rather they 'ping' out and shoot around the place and look rather like seeds!

  2. I read a couple of years ago that they were colonising in thr S.West and seemed to like conifers

  3. I didn't realise that stick insects would survive on their own outdoors in the UK. They seem to like your garden though, so they must enjoy the plants which you grow.

  4. Liz I love the idea of the eggs 'pinging' out over the garden! Thanks for the good laugh!
    Helen we do have a fir tree of sorts right where they are usually found. Perhaps I should have been putting them on that and not on the Wegela!
    Jo I think the answer is the fir tree thanks to Helen's comment. The thing is do they eat bad bugs?

  5. I know it is exciting really but stick insects have always given me the creeps so I hope they can't colonise up here in Surrey.

  6. They came from New Zealand on plant stock imported from there ...Colonising the south west of England ... Interesting aren't they :O) Here in NZ we have a number of different speciies ..some green some brown ...