weird bugs taking over balcony plants

jiorjiAugust 21, 2008

hello

i'm new here.

here's my story: I planted some plants on my balcony, morning glory, sweet peas, those trailing orange plants i forget the name of....anyway, i left on vacation and came back and i noticed that these odd bugs took over my plants. There;s tons of eggs around and bug poop. They sort of look like a lady big, red and blach, but they're stripey..horizontally..and they live on the leafs and sit there until they die. It's curved and when it dies the red stripes turn orange and then they eventually turn all black and fall away piece by piece. But it's like they're stuck to the leaf. I tried to flick them off but they won't budge if they're older. The young ones fell off. Gross. Never seen those before.

What are they??

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Mystery_Gardener

Hi:

Hopefully it is not this little devil, the dreaded red lily beetle.

This next one is the Red Turnip Beetle

If it is not either of these, try and post a picture or email me a photo and I will post it for you.

Cheers,
MG

Here is a link that might be useful: Our website

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 7:00PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Is it possible you are seeing ladybug pupae?

BP

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 12:13PM
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jiorji

yes those are ladybug pupae ...ewww

i looked it up for a bit...looks like there's no cure for getting rid of them. Do i just let them die out in the fall/winter? I guess none of my balcony plants are coming back inside :( my poor houseplants.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 1:33PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

Actually, you want ladybug pupae :-) They won't hurt your plants at all. Ladybugs and their larvae are the best aphid predators around! They'll help protect your houseplants from several other pests as well. Here is a good page that will help you identify the larvae as well.

Most of the pupae that you see now will turn into the adults in the next few days to week.

BP

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 3:32PM
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jiorji

yeah i get what you're saying but they're on almost every leaf and there's eggs everywhere!

is that normal for a balcony container?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2008 at 11:43PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

It does sound like you have a lot of them! I haven't seen all that many on my plants this year - I guess they're all hanging out in your yard :-)

is that normal for a balcony container?

Yes and no. I've been growing all my plants in containers for 18 years, and I have seen it like you describe several times, but it does not happen every year. When it does happen, it's because I also have an out of control aphid problem, and the ladybugs show up and start munching away. Sometimes I don't notice the aphids initially, because they're hidden or they're the same colour as the plant. But when I see tons of ladybug larvae or pupae, I always find signs the aphids were/are there as well.

Could you describe the colour and shape of the eggs you are seeing? Yellow and oval, or brown and round?

BP

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 1:11AM
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jiorji

well i live in an apartment but it's in a residential area and there's lots of gardens around me. I guess those alphids aren't too far.

Oh wait...........i just remembered. Before leaving, one of my houseplants was overtaken by these little green insects. And I put it outside on the balcony, in case the insects would hopefully get too hot from the sun and die off. I guess nature answered my request differently. Hello ladybugs!

the eggs are yellow and oval, although there's a lot of black bits. But that could be the bits from the larvae that dies off.

Good news though! the plant that was suffering from those green insects is now thriving and there's no pests in sigh on it HAHA

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 5:43PM
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bonniepunch(USDAz4 AgCanz5a)

I'll bet you those little green insects were aphids and they were what your ladybugs were feeding on.

Those are definitely eggs - I asked you to describe them because sometimes 'aphid mummies' (parasitized aphids) are mistaken for eggs.

The black bits couls be several things - the shed skins of the ladybud larvea, the dead leftover bits of aphids, ladybug larvae poop...

You can get aphids from anywhere. I live in downtown Montreal, lots of concrete and asphalt, and I get loads of aphids and ladybugs every year. I think it's impossible to avoid them completely.

BP

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 11:00PM
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