Unknown Pest Eating my Vinca Periwinkles

amberlynn03091987July 17, 2011

Hi, I am brand new to flower gardening and have just recently put up my first flowerbed. I planted several different types of flowers and most of them seem to be doing fine but in the past week I have noticed that something is taking quite large bites out of my Vinca periwinkle blooms. It looks at if something is taking a round cookie cutter to the blooms on the edges. If you look very closely the cuts are slightly serrated but they are even and symmetrical. I have no idea what could be doing this. I never see anything near my flowers, and I don't see any bugs on them except for an occasional ant. Whatever is doing this, prefers the periwinkle and they have choose to only eat the white and light pink blooms, yesterday, a bite was taken out of one of the hot pink ones though.

If anyone knows what could be doing this I would really appreciate some advice on how to get it to stop. It is destroying my blooms. I have uploaded a photo of the damage from my phone It's not the greatest photo but you can see the damage. Please HELP ME!!! Also, on the outside of the bed I have impatients but it doesn't bother those, even though it would pass them first to get into the bed.

Thanks,

Amberlynn First-Timer

Image link:

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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Plz atch something other than a thumbnail.

Dan

    Bookmark   July 17, 2011 at 8:33PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Uh oh. Way to small and way too dark. Please try again.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 1:14AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

First of all, I'd like to know where in TN exists a zone 4 climate!

Though even my Mr.Magoo glasses aren't good enough to see much in your little picture, I'm gong to 'guess' that it might be the work of leaf cutter bees. They are most observed taking cookie cutter pieces out of leaves, but will also do the same to flower petals.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 12:17PM
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amberlynn03091987

Hi, thank you for all the post. I meant zone 6 sorry for the confusion. I am a first timer to all of this. And since I wasn't even aware that the country was divided into zones until about 4 weeks ago I'm sure you guys will let it slide. lol. Anyways, I couldn't figure out how to change the photo so I had to repost the entire message again. Hope it doesn't get deleted before I get some help. I have noticed that it keeps eating them sometime between noon and the early evening. I'm at work then so there's no way of knowing for sure what it is. I would like to know what I can do to stop it though. It is absolutely wrecking my flowerbed.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 2:54AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Aw, darn! I was hoping you had found some obscure mountain top environment with a wacky temperature zone, lol. I was going to visit!

Anyway, your vinca is being visited by those leaf cutter bees, which use the little discs they remove from foliage and flowers to line their nests.

Leaf cutter bee damage is usually considered purely aesthetic. In other words, these insects really aren't truly 'wrecking' your flowerbed or harming the plants. They are considered important pollinators, if that helps you wait out the damage.

Here is a link that might be useful: Click here for more information

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 12:42PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

OP's larger image.

Rhizo and her Mr. Magoo glasses strike again!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 1:34PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Uh oh, here's the link to the larger image
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/pests/msg0702484317356.html

Here is a link that might be useful: larger image

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 1:36PM
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amberlynn03091987

Okay. Well even if it isn't killing my plants it is wrecking my flowerbed. Aesthetics are important to me and since those are almost the only thing I have blooming right now in the bed I don't want this bee cutting up my flowers every time they get a bloom open. What do these things look like anyway? Do they kind of look like a moth but with the colors of a bee? I saw one of those earlier today hanging around my bed but I didn't catch it eating anything. So can I gat rid of them? And how? Thanks for all the help.

Different subject, how do you put an image in a response I didn't see anything where I could upload in a response that's why I reposted.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 2:10PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Leaf cutter bees look like...bees. (See attached link for a google image page.) Your 'moth bee' COULD have been one of the several clear-wing moths. There are some species that look quite a bit like big bees.

Here is a link that might be useful: Beneficial Leaf cutter bees

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 4:14PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Our leaf cutters here look about half the size of a Euro honeybee.

The DD likes to look at them when she goes out to pick peas, as they seem to be only on peas this year so are especially numerous there. Not a big deal. No one on the planet has a garden without some leaf deformation. No one.

Dan

    Bookmark   July 20, 2011 at 5:02PM
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