bougainvilla - Knowledgebase Question

Pinellas Park, Fl
Avatar for janefclark
Question by janefclark
September 14, 2010
i've had a beautiful bougainvilla (sp?)for over 10 years going across my fence line. i swear it was overnight when i noticed that it was a skeleton - something ate it. any idea what and what i can do? thank you

Answer from NGA
September 14, 2010
I believe you! There is a bougainvillea looper (Disclisioprocta stellata) which is common this time of year. I suspect there was a huge population attacking your plant all at once and the result is an almost leafless plant. It may be too late to control the population now - I suspect they've eaten their fill by now - but you can use a product called Bt (bacillus thuringensis) which is a botanical that acts as a stomach poison against loopers and caterpillars. It is sold as Dipel or Thuricide. Be sure to apply according to label directions. Your bougainvillea has a good prognosis. It should leaf out again for you soon. Best wishes with your garden!

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