insect problem

April 27, 2008
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Categories: Bulb Fly, Diseases and Pests, Nematode, Planting, Pots, Snails, Deer and other Pests

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If it weren’t for the tulips being involved as well, I’d suggest greater or lesser narcissus bulb fly. I’ve had both. If there are several grubs in each bulb, sounds like lesser bulb fly. But I have never had them in tulips! My efforts at control involve shading the dying-back foliage with screening laid over them since the flies only lay eggs in sunshine (at least that’s what I read). They lay the eggs right where the dying leaves go into the soil. Parasitic nematodes should help but they aren’t as active in dry soil (from what I’ve read). I have chickens who scratch around as well and I think they help control the grubs before they make it into the bulb. I haven’t used poisons since I have poultry and dogs which use the same ‘space’. For my potted daffodils, I carefully inspect each bulb before repotting. Since I usually do that in fall, the grubs have had time to do enough damage for me to easily detect them. I try to shade those dying-back pots as well during the ‘critical’ egg laying time. I can usually salvage some of the bulb through ‘bulb surgery’ (weak grin) so I don’t lose that cultivar, but I’m set back a bit until next flowering. In my experience, they seem to prefer white Division 3’s and 5’s, at least under my conditions. The flies themselves look like darkish smallish bumblebees and make a curious whining sound when flying around your daffodils. I’m curious what others will suggest!
Betty Goetz – western WA state
> Hello to everyone out there. I am a professional landscraper living and > working on Cape Cod Massachusetts. In tne fall of 2006,I planted roughly > 500 > mixed daffs,purchased by my client. Spring of 2007 was excellent for > growth > and flowering.Normal growth and dieback occured during the season. This > spring,more then 90 % of the bulbs failed to emerge. Some had two leaves > indicating a new bulb. Upon digging ,we could find no trace of the > original > bulbs.We did find several small new bulbs,and most of these were infested > by > what appears to me as a tiny grub like creature.The middle of the bulbs > are > rotten. Some root growth is present,but not much. My local county > extension > service had no immediate answer,and want to see a sample,which I will > provide. > Has anyone seen this before,and if so,what is it? I am afraid the soil is > now infested,and will prevent the planting of bulbs in the future. I > should > also mention that some tulips were also affected,but not as bad. > I look forward to hearing from anyone who can advise me. Thank you. > > PHILIP LEWIS >  title=

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