Hibiscus - Knowledgebase Question

Altamonte Springs, Fl
Question by irissully
August 28, 2010
I received a response about flower bud drop from H.D. We cut open a bud and discovered the larvae -bud worm. Please can you tell me what you recomend using to treat them.


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Answer from NGA
August 28, 2010

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I suspected that's what might be causing the problem! Budworms are difficult to control. An adult fly makes a tiny slit in the unopened bud and deposits her egg. The egg hatches into a little worm and when it has eaten its fill it makes a little hole in the bud and crawls out. It spins a web that takes it down to the soil where it pupates and then turns into an adult to repeat the process. It's important to pick up and destroy any unopened buds that fall and to cultivate the soil beneath the hibiscus to expose any pupating worms to the elements and predacious insects. Since you cannot control the adults that fly in you might be able to reduce the population of budworms by applying Bt (bacillus thuringensis) which is sold as Dipel or Thuricide in your local garden center. Bt is a bacterium that acts as a stomach poison and targets only caterpillars. But, if you can get those budworms as they exit and before they reach the soil surface you have a good chance of controlling the next generation. Best wishes with your hibiscus!

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