The Q&A Archives: Insects on Columbines

Question: Every single year I have something eating my columbines and this year is no exception. Some are perfectly fine and others are eaten to the stalks. The eaten ones are not necessarily all together - they can be right next to a columbine that is left alone. Why is this happening? I usually use the granules that you sprinkle around the base of the plant (systemic) but it is getting to be such a pain that I am just ripping the plants right out of the ground. Am I the only one having this irritating problem?

Answer: According to the University of Ohio, Columbine sawfly is a common pest in your area and larvae can be found devouring leaves of columbines in late spring. These larvae are green with dark heads. They start feeding on the leaf edge and eat inward and devour all leaf tissue except the mid-veins. The resulting damage make plants look like they were sprouting match sticks.

After feeding for a few weeks in late spring, they drop from the plant and pupate. Adults then emerge within a few weeks. There is one generation per year. Control is possible with insecticidal soap, spinosad, or pyrethroid insecticides. Be sure to follow the label directions.

« Click to go to the homepage

» Ask a question of your own

Q&A Library Searching Tips

  • When singular and plural spellings differ, as in peony and peonies, try both.
  • Search terms are not case sensitive.

Today's site banner is by ge1836 and is called "Sempervivum Henry Carrevon"