Lilac cutters? - Knowledgebase Question

Kingston, Ne
Question by WyrdCreation
June 30, 2010
My Lilacs this year have many circular cuts removed from the leaves, but I see no culprit. In the NY metro area, what could it be?

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010


Female leafcutter bees neatly cut half-moon shapes from leaf or petal edges. Thin, smooth surfaces seem to be favorite choices. A bee finds a hole slightly larger than herself, often in the ground or wood. She inserts several curled pieces of plant material to form a protective ?cell?. Next, she fills the cell with a mixture of pollen and nectar to nourish her hatching larvae. Finally, she lays one egg, seals the cell with more plant material and is ready to repeat the process. Leafcutters are 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, black or grey and resemble honeybees. They are solitary creatures and ignore humans and are good pollinators. The bits of foliage they remove do not harm healthy plants so no control is needed. Indeed, they don?t ingest the plant material so spraying is ineffective anyway!

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