The Q&A Archives: insects

Question: how and what can i use to get rid of worms on hollyhocks also fruit flies in the soil of house plant?

Answer: If your hollyhock leaves look more like fine lace and skeletons, you've got an infestation of the Sawfly, also known as Hibiscus Sawfly; caterpillars of Atomacera decepta. Look for itty bitty green worms under the leaves. These are much like the European Rose Slug, another sawfly Rose growers detest. You'll easily miss them because they blend in with the foliage. Orthene or Dursban will control the pests.

The fungus gnats in the houseplant soil live and breed in the moistened soil. To control them, simply place a barrier over the top of the soil. You can temporarily place plastic wrap or foil over the pot, or you can place a half-inch layer of sand or decorative rock (such as is used in aquariums) over the top of the soil. This will keep the fungus gnats from feeding and breeding. In a few weeks, the problem will be solved and you can remove the plastic or foil.

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