The Q&A Archives: Bugs Eating Lilac Bushes

Question: Have large lilacs and for years every year bugs eat on the leaves. I never see them so have no idea what kind they are. I need to know what I can use to get rid of the bugs.

Answer: It's really important to identify exactly what is damaging your plants before attempting to spray something on them. You may do more harm than good. Spraying will kill beneficial insects as well as the "bad guys." If you can regularly monitor and tolerate some damage to your plants, over time Mother Nature strikes a balance, with the beneficials coming in to control the bad guys. Healthy vigorous plants will withstand insect attacks best, and keeping plants healthy with appropriate watering, sun exposure and feeding if needed is really the best thing you can do to provent insect problems. You might want to examine the undersides of leaves and along stems to see if you can spot what is eating the leaves. Also, go out at night with a flashlight. You might also take a sample of the foliage to your County Cooperative Extension office. If it's a common issue in your area, they may be able to tell you what it is without the insect, but it's best to have a sample of that as well. Good luck!

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