Major insect problem

Major insect problem

Joined: July 18th, 2009, 3:58 am

May 19th, 2017, 8:31 pm #1

A couple days ago I noticed a couple of the zinnias I had just planted had partially skeletonized lower leaves. I sprayed them with a pest spray to stop further damage. Today, there's barely anything left of either plant. Nearly all leaves have been skeletonized by some kind of insect. That sucks enough. Then, I noticed one of my 'black & bloom' plants a couple feet away also had a few skeletonized lower leaves. Cheap zinnias are one thing, but I'll be furious if my good salvias get eaten. This issue doesn't even stop there. Ten feet away on the other side of the zinnias, my two newly-planted salvia coccinea are both partially shredded. In front of them, a newly-planted lantana is partially shredded. The one thing these plants all have in common is the mulch I surrounded each of them with. This is the same mulch from the same source I've bought for fifteen years and I've never had any trouble, but this could be disastrous if I can't put a stop to the mystery insects. I pulled the mulch away from the plants, and I'll do more spraying, but I don't know what else I can do. Covering the plants at night wouldn't help if the insects come from the ground. Any ideas? I've never experienced anything like this.
Dan
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a
Reply
Like
Share

Joined: July 3rd, 2014, 2:17 am

May 19th, 2017, 9:43 pm #2

Dan,

I'm not sure where you are located, but in Ohio I had similar damage from Japanese beetles. I hand picked adult beetles and smooshed them when I saw them. I also put up traps that attract them. Here's a link to similar traps:https://www.harrisseeds.com/products/04 ... 20%2424.95 You can usually find traps at Lowes, Home Depot, Ace or Tru Value or even Walmart.

They start as grubs in the lawn and may require insecticide treatment on the lawn.

Here's a link to some info from the University of Kentucky:https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef451 and one from the University of Minnesota:http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/ins ... e-beetles/

Please let us know what you find out. Good luck.

Rhonda
Never stop enjoying life,
Rhonda

Rhonda Furlong
Englewood, Florida
Zone 10a
Reply
Like
Share

Joined: June 21st, 2006, 1:24 pm

May 19th, 2017, 10:13 pm #3

A couple days ago I noticed a couple of the zinnias I had just planted had partially skeletonized lower leaves. I sprayed them with a pest spray to stop further damage. Today, there's barely anything left of either plant. Nearly all leaves have been skeletonized by some kind of insect. That sucks enough. Then, I noticed one of my 'black & bloom' plants a couple feet away also had a few skeletonized lower leaves. Cheap zinnias are one thing, but I'll be furious if my good salvias get eaten. This issue doesn't even stop there. Ten feet away on the other side of the zinnias, my two newly-planted salvia coccinea are both partially shredded. In front of them, a newly-planted lantana is partially shredded. The one thing these plants all have in common is the mulch I surrounded each of them with. This is the same mulch from the same source I've bought for fifteen years and I've never had any trouble, but this could be disastrous if I can't put a stop to the mystery insects. I pulled the mulch away from the plants, and I'll do more spraying, but I don't know what else I can do. Covering the plants at night wouldn't help if the insects come from the ground. Any ideas? I've never experienced anything like this.
Dan, I'm so sorry about your plants---major bummer!! If you could post any photos of the plants, that might be helpful in identifying the pest.

Rhonda, it's way too early for Japanese Beetles. We typically don't see our first in Wisconsin until the end of June. It must be something else.
Reply
Like
Share

Joined: September 6th, 2009, 11:45 pm

May 19th, 2017, 11:35 pm #4

A couple days ago I noticed a couple of the zinnias I had just planted had partially skeletonized lower leaves. I sprayed them with a pest spray to stop further damage. Today, there's barely anything left of either plant. Nearly all leaves have been skeletonized by some kind of insect. That sucks enough. Then, I noticed one of my 'black & bloom' plants a couple feet away also had a few skeletonized lower leaves. Cheap zinnias are one thing, but I'll be furious if my good salvias get eaten. This issue doesn't even stop there. Ten feet away on the other side of the zinnias, my two newly-planted salvia coccinea are both partially shredded. In front of them, a newly-planted lantana is partially shredded. The one thing these plants all have in common is the mulch I surrounded each of them with. This is the same mulch from the same source I've bought for fifteen years and I've never had any trouble, but this could be disastrous if I can't put a stop to the mystery insects. I pulled the mulch away from the plants, and I'll do more spraying, but I don't know what else I can do. Covering the plants at night wouldn't help if the insects come from the ground. Any ideas? I've never experienced anything like this.
Perhaps slugs?

Go out at night with a flashlight and look for slugs and other night pests.

Ken
Central NJ
usda zone 6b
Reply
Like
Share

Joined: July 18th, 2009, 3:58 am

May 19th, 2017, 11:37 pm #5

A couple days ago I noticed a couple of the zinnias I had just planted had partially skeletonized lower leaves. I sprayed them with a pest spray to stop further damage. Today, there's barely anything left of either plant. Nearly all leaves have been skeletonized by some kind of insect. That sucks enough. Then, I noticed one of my 'black & bloom' plants a couple feet away also had a few skeletonized lower leaves. Cheap zinnias are one thing, but I'll be furious if my good salvias get eaten. This issue doesn't even stop there. Ten feet away on the other side of the zinnias, my two newly-planted salvia coccinea are both partially shredded. In front of them, a newly-planted lantana is partially shredded. The one thing these plants all have in common is the mulch I surrounded each of them with. This is the same mulch from the same source I've bought for fifteen years and I've never had any trouble, but this could be disastrous if I can't put a stop to the mystery insects. I pulled the mulch away from the plants, and I'll do more spraying, but I don't know what else I can do. Covering the plants at night wouldn't help if the insects come from the ground. Any ideas? I've never experienced anything like this.
I'm going to go out tonight to check. Hopefully, I can see something.

OT.... just realized my longtime signature info has disappeared.
Last edited by hawkeye_wx on May 20th, 2017, 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Dan
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a
Reply
Like
Share

Joined: May 18th, 2013, 9:33 pm

May 20th, 2017, 1:06 am #6

A couple days ago I noticed a couple of the zinnias I had just planted had partially skeletonized lower leaves. I sprayed them with a pest spray to stop further damage. Today, there's barely anything left of either plant. Nearly all leaves have been skeletonized by some kind of insect. That sucks enough. Then, I noticed one of my 'black & bloom' plants a couple feet away also had a few skeletonized lower leaves. Cheap zinnias are one thing, but I'll be furious if my good salvias get eaten. This issue doesn't even stop there. Ten feet away on the other side of the zinnias, my two newly-planted salvia coccinea are both partially shredded. In front of them, a newly-planted lantana is partially shredded. The one thing these plants all have in common is the mulch I surrounded each of them with. This is the same mulch from the same source I've bought for fifteen years and I've never had any trouble, but this could be disastrous if I can't put a stop to the mystery insects. I pulled the mulch away from the plants, and I'll do more spraying, but I don't know what else I can do. Covering the plants at night wouldn't help if the insects come from the ground. Any ideas? I've never experienced anything like this.
Bummer for sure I hope you can find out what the pest is, good luck.
Steve W.
Martinsville IN.
Zone 6
Reply
Like
Share

Joined: August 21st, 2010, 5:04 pm

May 20th, 2017, 1:42 am #7

A couple days ago I noticed a couple of the zinnias I had just planted had partially skeletonized lower leaves. I sprayed them with a pest spray to stop further damage. Today, there's barely anything left of either plant. Nearly all leaves have been skeletonized by some kind of insect. That sucks enough. Then, I noticed one of my 'black & bloom' plants a couple feet away also had a few skeletonized lower leaves. Cheap zinnias are one thing, but I'll be furious if my good salvias get eaten. This issue doesn't even stop there. Ten feet away on the other side of the zinnias, my two newly-planted salvia coccinea are both partially shredded. In front of them, a newly-planted lantana is partially shredded. The one thing these plants all have in common is the mulch I surrounded each of them with. This is the same mulch from the same source I've bought for fifteen years and I've never had any trouble, but this could be disastrous if I can't put a stop to the mystery insects. I pulled the mulch away from the plants, and I'll do more spraying, but I don't know what else I can do. Covering the plants at night wouldn't help if the insects come from the ground. Any ideas? I've never experienced anything like this.
Dan, cheap and easy fixes for slugs.

1. Crushed egg shells. Rinse, dry and crush them. Spread them around the base of the plants. Cover the area pretty good, the crushed shells will cut the slugs when they try and crawl across them.

2. Take a beer bottle, drink 2/3 of the beer. Lay the bottle on it's side near the plants. Slugs love beer, they will crawl in and you can dispose of them in the morning.

Hopefully it is slugs as they are much easier to get rid of without expensive sprays.
Pete
Green Bay, WI
Reply
Like
Share

Joined: June 21st, 2006, 1:24 pm

May 20th, 2017, 5:32 am #8

A couple days ago I noticed a couple of the zinnias I had just planted had partially skeletonized lower leaves. I sprayed them with a pest spray to stop further damage. Today, there's barely anything left of either plant. Nearly all leaves have been skeletonized by some kind of insect. That sucks enough. Then, I noticed one of my 'black & bloom' plants a couple feet away also had a few skeletonized lower leaves. Cheap zinnias are one thing, but I'll be furious if my good salvias get eaten. This issue doesn't even stop there. Ten feet away on the other side of the zinnias, my two newly-planted salvia coccinea are both partially shredded. In front of them, a newly-planted lantana is partially shredded. The one thing these plants all have in common is the mulch I surrounded each of them with. This is the same mulch from the same source I've bought for fifteen years and I've never had any trouble, but this could be disastrous if I can't put a stop to the mystery insects. I pulled the mulch away from the plants, and I'll do more spraying, but I don't know what else I can do. Covering the plants at night wouldn't help if the insects come from the ground. Any ideas? I've never experienced anything like this.
Dan,

I was curious to see a photo of the damage, but slugs would make the most sense with all the rain we've had this spring. Slugs just love wet and damp (although I've never seen them eat salvias before.) I hope you can identify what is going on and get this under control. Good luck!!

Reply
Like
Share

Joined: July 18th, 2009, 3:58 am

May 20th, 2017, 8:00 am #9

A couple days ago I noticed a couple of the zinnias I had just planted had partially skeletonized lower leaves. I sprayed them with a pest spray to stop further damage. Today, there's barely anything left of either plant. Nearly all leaves have been skeletonized by some kind of insect. That sucks enough. Then, I noticed one of my 'black & bloom' plants a couple feet away also had a few skeletonized lower leaves. Cheap zinnias are one thing, but I'll be furious if my good salvias get eaten. This issue doesn't even stop there. Ten feet away on the other side of the zinnias, my two newly-planted salvia coccinea are both partially shredded. In front of them, a newly-planted lantana is partially shredded. The one thing these plants all have in common is the mulch I surrounded each of them with. This is the same mulch from the same source I've bought for fifteen years and I've never had any trouble, but this could be disastrous if I can't put a stop to the mystery insects. I pulled the mulch away from the plants, and I'll do more spraying, but I don't know what else I can do. Covering the plants at night wouldn't help if the insects come from the ground. Any ideas? I've never experienced anything like this.
I just went out at 2:30am to check the plants. The culprit is earwigs, lots of little ones. I had my two small salvia coccinea 'red nymph' covered with pots to keep the rain off. When I uncovered one of them earwigs were covering the plant, further shredding the leaves. I already sprayed these plants before dark, so the spray on the leaves obviously didn't faze the earwigs one bit. Maybe the spray was too old(10 years). I used a new batch of the same spray (main ingredient is permethrin) on the earwigs themselves just now, and soaked the soil around the plants. I may have to dig up the coccineas and zinnias to give them a chance to grow out while they still have a chance. I'm still not sure what the source of the earwigs is... the mulch, the composted manure, my own compost, or just a random outbreak in that part of the yard. Plenty of other plants remain unaffected.
Last edited by hawkeye_wx on May 20th, 2017, 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Dan
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a
Reply
Like
Share

Joined: July 18th, 2009, 3:58 am

May 20th, 2017, 12:20 pm #10

A couple days ago I noticed a couple of the zinnias I had just planted had partially skeletonized lower leaves. I sprayed them with a pest spray to stop further damage. Today, there's barely anything left of either plant. Nearly all leaves have been skeletonized by some kind of insect. That sucks enough. Then, I noticed one of my 'black & bloom' plants a couple feet away also had a few skeletonized lower leaves. Cheap zinnias are one thing, but I'll be furious if my good salvias get eaten. This issue doesn't even stop there. Ten feet away on the other side of the zinnias, my two newly-planted salvia coccinea are both partially shredded. In front of them, a newly-planted lantana is partially shredded. The one thing these plants all have in common is the mulch I surrounded each of them with. This is the same mulch from the same source I've bought for fifteen years and I've never had any trouble, but this could be disastrous if I can't put a stop to the mystery insects. I pulled the mulch away from the plants, and I'll do more spraying, but I don't know what else I can do. Covering the plants at night wouldn't help if the insects come from the ground. Any ideas? I've never experienced anything like this.
I'm going to put out some homemade traps this evening (small container, oil, molasses, etc) to try to catch them all.
Dan
East-central Iowa
Zone 5a
Reply
Like
Share


Confirmation of reply: