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 Flower Attack

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justbill

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PostSubject: Flower Attack   Tue May 28, 2013 8:59 pm

I have flowers I've recently planted. One type is being attacked by something, the African Marigolds. Something is chewing them just below the flower. Then, it looks like it tears the petals off. Does anyone have any idea what animal or insect can be doing this? I'm frustrated.
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Admin Wendy
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PostSubject: Re: Flower Attack   Tue May 28, 2013 11:44 pm

is it caterpillers? i always had marigolds and we always had boat loads of caterpillers, check and get rid hun as they will just keep going xxx

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justbill

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PostSubject: Re: Flower Attack   Wed May 29, 2013 12:12 pm

Thank you Wen. I'm going outside now and see if I can find evidence of caterpillars. Now I hate caterpillars. :)
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PostSubject: Re: Flower Attack   Wed May 29, 2013 9:30 pm

good luck x

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justbill

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PostSubject: Re: Flower Attack   Thu May 30, 2013 11:13 am

Haven't found any caterpillers. Maybe they come out at night. I'm going to check tonight.
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PostSubject: Re: Flower Attack   Thu May 30, 2013 6:57 pm

Aphids are perhaps the most common insect pest of the African daisy. Both Cornell University and the University of Illinois Extension list this sap-sucking bug as a pest of the plant. Aphids are small, soft insects that range in color from a very pale yellow to light green, red, black or brown. They are usually found clustered on the undersides of the leaves. Although small amounts will not usually harm the plant, infestations can lead to yellowing or curling of the leaves. The honeydew they excrete can also attract fungal spores, leading to the development of sooty mold. Ridding your African daisy of aphids may be as easy as hitting it with a strong stream of water. For severe infestations, however, you may need to apply repeated applications of insecticide. Lady beetles and parasitic wasps are natural enemies of aphids, so introducing a population of these insects into your garden can also help you control the aphid problem.
Whiteflies

Whiteflies are tiny little insects that look like white specks on your plants. Although small, they are usually easy to spot on the undersides of your leaves as they look rather like your plant has developed a dandruff problem. Like aphids, they are sap-sucking bugs. Also like aphids, small populations of whiteflies on your African daisies do not pose a threat to the health of your plant. They can be unattractive, however, and their populations can increase quite rapidly, especially in warm weather. Infestations can lead to yellow, dry leaves, which fall off the plant. Unfortunately, whiteflies are hard to kill. Insecticides can reduce the populations temporarily, but they may return. Insecticidal oils work best, but the plant must be thoroughly coated with them. Reflective mulches or even aluminum foil laid down around the plants can repel whiteflies. Lady beetles and lacewings are both natural predators of the bugs.
Earwigs

Earwigs are easily recognizable by what looks like a pair of forceps attached to the ends of their bodies. These insect pests will munch away at the leaves of your African daisies until they are ragged. Usually, this happens overnight. During the day, they like to rest in cool, moist places, so remove piles of debris or organic matter from around your African daisies. Then, set traps for them. Sink a shallow can or lid into the ground and put a bit of fish oil in the bottom. Sprinkling earwig bait around the plants as a preventative measure may work even better -- just be sure to get bait that has spinosad listed as an ingredient.

Slugs

Although not technically insects -- slugs are molluscs -- the slimy creatures still fall into the category of garden pests, and they will eat African daisies if given the chance. If the flowers and leaves on your plants seem to have developed smooth-edged holes overnight, it's likely they were visited by a hungry slug. Sometimes, it's fairly easy to tell that it was a slug chewing on your plants because the slug left a glistening, slimy trail behind. First, remove any plant debris near your flowers -- slugs like to hide in piles of organic matter. Then, prevent slugs from chowing down on your flowers by surrounding them with a barrier of slug bait.


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justbill

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PostSubject: Re: Flower Attack   Thu May 30, 2013 8:41 pm

The description of the Earwigs sounds like the problem I'm having with my petunias. I look at them in the morning and a flower or two will be eaten completely away. Also, some of the leaves will be partially eaten.
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