Within the last three years or so, two species of moth, one most welcome but the other one decidedly unwelcome, have begun to colonise S.W London and parts of Surrey.

The 'good guy' is the spectacular and colourful Jersey tiger moth, having blackish-brown forewings with broad white stripes while hind wings are orange with black marks.

Until recently the Jersey tiger was confined to the Channel Islands, Devon and Cornwall, hence the 'Jersey 'tag.

Both day and night flying, the beautiful moth resembles a painted lady butterfly in flight. Eggs are laid on stinging nettle and low growing plants between July and September.

The 'bad guy' is the box tree moth. With a wingspan of just an inch, it has light green wings bordered in black (see photo).It probably arrived in Britain in the larval stage in a consignment of box trees from the Continent.

It is now causing havoc among box trees as the caterpillars completely defoliate and cause an unsightly mess.

This spring my large garden box has been ravaged but now a few fresh green leaves are showing. I do not use pesticides in the garden so will have to put up with it for this year.

However, next spring I intend to box clever and as soon as the larvae emerge I will remove them one by one if I have to!