The Q&A Archives: Dahlia Infestation

Question: I have been having problems with small yellow green beetle looking bugs with black spots eating leaves and flowers of all my dahlias plus other flowers. What bug may this be and how would I control it? It looks similar to a ladybug but is not the right color and these have terrible appetites.

Answer: If the insect is round, like a ladybug, it's probably the Mexican Bean Beetle. These pests skeletonize leaves from underneath. Their natural predators are assassin bugs and a predacious wasp. If the insect is long rather than round, it could be the Spotted Cucumber Beetle. The adults chew holes in the leaves, flowers and fruits of many plants. You can handpick the pests or use the botanical insecticide rotenone, which is recommended for control of both Mexican Bean Beetles and Spotted Cucumber Beetles.

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