Currant Clearwing

Mating currant clearwings. Photo: Plantsurfer, public domain

They’re the most beautiful pests in the garden. Currant clearwings are moths, but they would like you to think they’re wasps, with their clear, narrow wings and yellow stripes. The deception deters predators who don’t want to tangle with a dinner that stings.

Adults emerge in early summer. They lay their eggs on the growing tips of currants and gooseberries. The caterpillars hatch out and burrow into the stems, killing them.

We’ve had the occasional currant clearwing in the past. Mostly, I let them go, because there were few of them, and I do like the way they look.

But this year there are many, many more than usual. I’m squishing all that I see. They leave gold dust on my hands when I do.

Hopefully, my efforts will be effective, and we’ll go back to just a few currant clearwings next year, so I don’t have to kill so many of these beauties.