Some type of bug is chewing big holes in the leaves of my hibiscus plants. I have seen a few white flies, but I don't think that they are the culprit. This morning I saw the bug but have no idea what it is. It looks like a tiny mosquito. It has wings and maybe a green or yellow middle section. They fly very fast and about 5 to 10 were on some of the leaves. Please help. Thanks!
Hardiness Zone: 9a
Donna from Lafayette, LA
Living in Arkansas, I can tell you that the Japanese Beetle problem has been bad here for the last 2 years. They are small, about the size of a fly, and have a green shiny back. They start by munching holes on the leaves of trees and plants. We use the beetle traps, and have filled up around 8 traps this year...and still have some raggedy looking trees and bushes.
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Q: I have an old timey hibiscus that comes back every year and something is eating the leaves. What can I put on it to stop the bugs from eating holes in the leaves?
Hardiness Zone: 7b
Faith from Starkville, MS
A: There are numerous insects that feed on hibiscus leaves including mealy bugs, white flies, aphids and spider mites. One of the easiest ways to control any of these insects is to spray your hibiscus (don't blast them) with the garden hose, or if you are growing them in pots, cover the surface of the pot with foil and stick the plant in the shower for a minute or two. Make sure you get the underside of the leaves, too. Another non-toxic solution is to spray the plant with horticultural oil or an insecticidal soap. Make your own soap with a tbsp of liquid dish soap, two cloves of chopped garlic, a small chopped onion and 2 cups of water. Blend these together and strain out the pulp. Pour into a hand held sprayer and apply to plants every few days after seeing the first signs of damage.
Earwigs and slugs usually eat the green leaves of plants. I use a diazinon (or generic) or some type of product that kills these bugs and sprinkle that on. It helps to control them, but needs reapplying occasionally. They also love hostas. (06/16/2006)
If the problem is slugs, you can crush egg shells and sprinkle them around the plant. The slugs wont crawl over as the egg shells cut their body. (06/16/2006)