Passi Sapphire being Eaten at Night

Mystyspassion(Z6 NJ)July 6, 2006

I can't figure out what's eating my Passi Sapphire; it only happens at night; and whatever is eating it only eats the top newer leaves; every morning I notice it's eaten something else; usually off the very top leaf or the one under it; and it's not like it takes one bite; it will sometimes eat almost a whole part of a 3 part leaf; only leaving 2 parts of the leaf. and when it eats the still closed leaf it's actually eating both sides at the same time. This morning I noticed not only did it eat one side of a new leaf it ate a hole right through the center of a Bracht; I thought it was weird that it didn't start at the edge; there is a just a hole in the center of a large Bracht.

This plant is 6 ft high on a trellis; now from everything I read if it was a beetle that lives under the soil they eat the bottom leaves; whatever this is only eats the top new leaves and has been since the plant was only 2 ft. tall. I can't even find one single bug on my plant. Anyone have a suggestion? are bugs smart enough to fly to the same plant for a meal every night; because whatever it is dosen't seem to be living on the plant; well not that I can see anyway.

Thanks So much for any advice; it's now 12:30 am and I am going out to look right now to see if I can catch the culprit. I figure I will check every 1/2hr until I go to sleep. What we won't do for our Passi's.

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ethane(9 FL)

I have had a similar problem, and I've come to the conclusion that it could be either slugs, snails, or earwigs. Man I hate earwigs, I have them all over the place. I've discovered earwigs on the leaves at night, but I haven't seen snails or slugs. Like you, it only happens at night. I've sprinkled some poison bait around the base of the plants called Bug Getta Plus (which is for snails, slugs, and earwigs, among others) and I'll see if that does the trick.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 6:40PM
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Mystyspassion(Z6 NJ)

Maybe your right; usually with slugs I will see them; it's been raining off & on for the past few weeks now here on the East Coast; and usually we always have a lot of slugs; but I haven't even seen 1 this year. But I think you may be onto something with the Earwigs; because I have killed a few of them that were in my Rose Bush; so usually where there's 1 there are lots more that aren't being seen. I agree with you; that is one bug that gives me chills up my spine; most bugs I can deal with even if I don't like them; but earwigs completely freak me out. I usually don't like to put pesticides on my plants; but last year I tried the Natural Predators to get rid of my mite problem on my Butterfly Bush; and they did such a job on it last year that it didn't come back this year. So I decided that this year I am going to take a more agressive approach should I see any type of infestation. Usually my Passi's are left alone by bugs; and out of about 12-15 passi's that I have this is the only one being eaten every night. I think I am going to spray all the new growth and see if it helps; thanks for the great advice; I am almost sure your right about the Earwigs and I have no problem killing them at all.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2006 at 7:16PM
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Mystyspassion(Z6 NJ)

You were right it was an earwig; I happened to catch it as it was going down the stem at 5:30am after it's nightly feeding. Well this morning when I woke up I went out to check on my Passi and it hadn't been touched all night so I guess that Earwig was the culprit; and now he won't be bothering any more of my plants.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 7:55AM
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ethane(9 FL)

I'm glad you caught the culprit. What did you end up spraying them with? I think I need a more aggressive approach than putting some poisoned bait on the ground. Some of them seem to be passing the bait and continue to eat my plants. I echo your claim that I have no problem killing earwigs--may they all die an ignominious death! Vive la revolucion! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! ...Okay, maybe that's a bit too much... But I still don't like 'em.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2006 at 5:44PM
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Mystyspassion(Z6 NJ)

If you have numerous earwigs then you definately need to spray. The problem I found just with the one I had was that it was hiding inside the Bracht. Because I watched it climb down the stem and then just as it got near the bottom of the plant it went into one of the Buds/Brachts. Earwigs love those enclosed places. So putting powder on the bottom might not solve your problem. Also I don't know anything about their reproduction cycles; so you could really wind up with tons of them if you don't solve the problem now. The more I think about it I am surprised I never had Earwigs before because Passi's really give them a good place to hide when there are lots of Buds.

Since they seem to like the top leaves I would spray those first as well as any new growth. That "Bayer" brand is very thick & strong; and since earwigs are hard to kill you may need to not dilute. This is what I would do if I was using the Bayer - I would dilute maybe 70% Bayer/30% Water and spray the leaves. Then check over the next day or two and see if the Earwigs are still around; if they are still their and they are still alive I would do another spray without diluting. Then once they all are gone or dead I would give the Passi's a slight night shower just to try to wash some of it off. It says it stays on their for a month; but personally I know on my rose bush & my Hibiscus it only lasts for about a week. But it did kill the Earwigs on my Rosebush; I sprayed my hibiscus just to be safe because it's next to the Rosebush.

All my Passi's are in pots; except for 1. I planted my Lavender Lady in the ground last year and it came back this year. So Im going to root some cuttings and put a few more in the gound and see what happens.

Keep me up to date on any solutions you find to get rid of your earwig problem. Because many of the pesticides don't seem to work very well overall. The only reason I tried the Bayer is because Rose Growers swear by it for getting rid of all types of bugs. And I have 3 different Pesticides here; and out of all that I tried the "Bayer" seems the most effective. I always buy them when they go on sale; and put them away for if I ever need them.

Keep me up to date on your Earwig Problem; it's always good to have that kind of knowledge.


    Bookmark   July 11, 2006 at 12:32AM
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ethane(9 FL)

I guess I'll have to try that Bayer spray. I have used another spray, can't think of the name, but I think like the one you used it doesn't last more than a week. I guess I just need to be more vigilant.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 1:21PM
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