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Insect Pests on Perennials

Ants
Aphid
Columbine Leafminer
Columbine Sawfly
Daylily Midge
Delphinium Worm
Flea Beetle
Leafhopper
Scarlet Lily Beetle
Slugs
Spider Mites
Spittlebug
Stink Bug
Thrips

  


 
 
 
 
 
 
Ants

Plants Affected - Ants are mostly beneficial, feeding on other insects however in great numbers, tunneling will cause damage to root systems of plants/lawn.  They do not feed directly on plants, but rather on plant debris, rotting wood.

Symptoms:

  • Will see ants scurrying along, may see tunnels in lawns/garden if population is high.
  • May see them around aphid colonies—they feed on aphid’s honeydew excretions.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Keep garden debris free (ants are feeding on debris).
  • Pour boiling water down hills.
  • Keep area well watered-ants don't prefer wet areas.
  • Control aphid colonies.

Controls - Chemical

  • Pyrethrum
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Doktor Doom Residual (yellow can)

 

 
 
 
 
 
Aphid

Symptoms - Severe infestations will cause curling/twisting of foliage, flowers to wilt and drop.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Ladybird beetles/larvae, lacewings are natural predators.
  • Strong jet of water to knock aphids off plants.

Controls - Chemical:

  • Insecticidal soap, Doktor Doom House and Garden, and various other insecticides.

 

 
 
 
 
 
Columbine Leafminer

Symptoms:

  • Symptoms appear on various species of Columbine.
  • Leaves appear to have tan coloured winding trails through them.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Hand pick affected leaves when infestations are small

Controls - Chemical:

  • Since insects are enclosed in leaf layers, systemic insecticides are the only effective chemical treatment; there are currently no registered systemic insecticides available.

Columbine Sawfly

Plants affected - Various species of columbine

Symptoms:

  • Leaves are skeletonized
  • Can cause complete defoliation

Life Cycle:

  • Eggs are laid on underside of leaves in April / Early May
  • Hatch and feed in the outer edge leaves leaving only the veins
  • Pupate and emerge into a wasp like fly

Cultural Control - Hand pick

Chemical Control - Insecticidal soap, Ambush, Doktor Doom House and Garden


 
 
 
 
 
 
Daylily Midge

Plants affected - Daylily

Symptoms - Buds are deformed, streaked with purple

Life Cycle:

  • Adults overwinter in soil, emerge in spring.
  • Adults lay eggs in developing buds. Larvae feed on buds, distorting them and leaving purple streaking.
  • Unopened buds eventually drop to the ground and larvae emerge, overwinter in soil.

Cultural Control - Remove affected buds and discard in garbage or burn.

Chemical Control - None available.


  

 

 
 
 
 
Delphinium Worm

Symptoms:

  • Symptoms appear on Delphinium and sometimes Monkshood.
  • New growth is cupped and distorted.
  • Small green worm present inside this new growth.
  • Flowering is reduced or prevented; plants are stunted".

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Cut down affected stems below point of damage.
  • Crush cocoons that are seen on undersides of leaves in summer.
  • Cut affected plants to ground level in fall after frost.
  • Dispose of all leaf debris in the fall.
  • BTK

Controls - Chemical:

  • Doktor Doom House and Garden

 

 
 
 
 
 
Flea Beetle

Symptoms:

  • Small 'shot hole' appearance to leaves.
  • Beetles will jump when disturbed.
  • Roots (potatoes) will have pitted appearance and when peeled, small holes will be visible just below surface.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Row covers for seedlings/young plants.

Controls - Chemical:

  • Doktor Doom House and Garden
  • Safer’s End All

 

 
 
 
 
 
Leafhopper

Symptoms:

  • Leaves of various plants have stippled appearance - damage is similar to spider mite damage
  • Plants can be stunted.
  • 'Clouds' of insects fly away when plants disturbed

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Strong jet of water will knock them off plants
  • Ladybugs, birds feed on them.

Conrols - Chemical:

  • Insecticidal Soap
  • Permethrin (note: Doktor Doom more effective)

Scarlet Lily BeetleScarlet Lily Beetle

For years Alberta gardeners were exempt from this aggressive lily pest, but over the past couple of seasons their numbers have vastly increased.

Lilioceris lilii, commonly known as the Red Lily Beetle, Lily Leaf Beetle or Crimson Lily Beetle is native to Eurasia and has most likely spread into North America from either non-inspected "bootleg" (smuggled) imports or poorly inspected bulbs and plants with soil attached. Emerging in April and May, the adult beetles lay their eggs on the undersides of leaves from about late April until early September. Eggs hatch in about a week and the larvae feed on both foliage and flowers from May through September. In two weeks, when the larvae are fully grown, they pupate underground and emerge as adults for another cycle of feeding, then return to the soil or nearby ground litter for overwintering.

Though most commonly found on lilies, the adult beetle has reported to have also been found on Hosta, Lily of the Valley and Soloman's Seal. It has been making its way westward through the Canadian provinces and now appears to be firmly established in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and even Calgary, Alberta, most likely due to inter-province delivery of plants with infected soil.

Organic Controls

In spring, when lilies are beginning to emerge just a few inches out of the soil, begin looking for overwintered adult beetles, inspecting stems from all angles. Lift leaves and also carefully inspect the crowns when they are still small and before developing buds begin spreading apart. Wear disposable or dish washing gloves and put white cloth or paper under plants as you work. Hold a plastic carton of hot, soapy water under each area of the stem you are working on. If the beetles sense danger or see a shadow, they will most likely drop, dark belly side up, hopefully in the water or where you can pluck them off the light colored material. (Dropped onto mulch or soil will make it difficult to find them again, so put down your light colored mat first.)

An application of Diatomaceous Earth spread around the base of stems that might have been affected the previous summer will not only impact the adult beetles, but also help to eliminate unwary mollusks who might dine on the lily sprouts as they emerge, a double benefit. You can also lightly mist lily plants throughout summer and sprinkle the fine Diatomaceous Earth powder on the leaves. Use a puff applicator for under leaves. Our Dust Applicators are a great tool for applying Diatomaceous Earth, as well as other garden dusts such as Sulphur. 

Neem Oil is a very effective control as well, both eradicating the larvae and repelling the adults. Note that Neem Oil needs to be reapplied frequently to be effective; once every 5-7 days.

 


 

 

 
 
 
 
Slugs

Plants Affected - Hosta, ligularia, and a wide variety of garden plants with low hanging vegetation

Symptoms:

  • Ragged holes on plant, young slugs will shred the leaves.
  • Slugs leave a slime trail as they travel, they are most active between 3am and 6am.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Crawling Insect Killer (Diatomaceous Earth) can be sprinkled around the plants.
  • Safer’s Slug & Snail Killer
  • Shallow traps with an attractant such as beer
  • Handpick in the early morning.

Controls - Chemical:

  • Corry’s Slug & Snail liquid or granular

 
 
 
 
 
 
Spider Mites

Plants Affected - Numerous

Symptoms:

  • Stippling - tiny dots in foliage
  • Yellowing of foliage - "haze" on foliage

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Strong jet of water
  • Keep plants misted
  • Fall debris cleanup

Controls - Chemical:

  • Insecticidal Soap, miticide such as malathion, Safer's 3 in 1. Product must state: Miticide or that it treats Mites.

 

 

 
 
 
 
Spittlebug

Plants Affected - Numerous.  Insect does not damage plant, merely cosmetic.

Symptoms - 'Spit' on plant - bug is hidden underneath.

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Spray plants with strong jet of water.

Controls - Chemical:

  • Not necessary

Stink Bug

Plants Affected - Numerous.  Trees, Shrubs and Perennials

Description:

  • Various forms/colours will be seen - will generally have a large triangular plate on their back
  • Omit foul smelling substance when disturbed

Life Cycle: 

  • Adults overwinter in plant debris and in soil.  Emerge May - June, egg are laid in June/July, from egg to adult takes about 25 days

Controls

  • Though found in large numbers, rarely cause damage to the extent that warrants spraying insecticide
  • They are actually a predator of the Colorado Potato Beetles, each nymph can consume over 250 eggs.

 
 
 
 
 
 
Thrips

Plants Affected - Numerous

Symptoms - White blotches or streaks on foliage/blooms

Controls - Cultural or Non-chemical:

  • Good fall clean up of debris.

Controls - Chemical:

  • Apply Doktor Doom to foliage early in season (mid-June). As this product persists on foliage for a few weeks, it should help to get one the generations.
  • Doktor Doom House and Garden