The Q&A Archives: Pest problem

Question: My rhodendrons are being chewed (leaves) by something. I also notice green bugs (flying) that seem to

Answer: The most prevalaet problem with rhodies in the Pacific Northwest is leaf notching by root weevils. The adults make notches on the margins of the leaves when they feed and the larvae feed on the roots of the plants. The adults hide in the soil beneath the shrub during the day and then climb up the stems and branches at night to feed. You can stop their pilgrimage by wrapping a barrier around the main trunk of your rhodie. Wrap a 4" wide strip of paper or plastic around the base of the trunk, then smear it with TangleFoot (a sticky substance made especially for trapping insects). TangleFoot is available in most garden centers and is relatively inexpensive. When the root weevils walk onto the barrier they will be permanently trapped. Continue to reapply TangleFoot and eventually you'll get rid of the entire population. I suspect the green flying bugs are rhododendron lace bugs. These pests are easily controlled with applications of insecticidal soaps. Good luck with your rhododendrons.

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