Hibicus buds falling off - Knowledgebase Question

Naples, Fl
Question by debbitull
October 3, 2009
I asked about buds falling off and got answer -- It is bud worms, how do I kill them

Answer from NGA
October 3, 2009


It's difficult to control these pests because they are protected inside the unopened flower bud. The adult is a fly and deposits her egg by piercing a hole in the sepals. When the egg hatches into a larvae it feeds on the petals and then makes an exit hole, spins a web to transport it down to the soil and then pupates in the soil under the plant where it emerges as an adult to start the process all over again. You can rake the soil beneath the plant periodically to expose the pupating pests and you can pinch off and destroy any buds you suspect contain budworms (look for a tiny hole in the green sepals near the base of the unopened flower bud. This will control the next generation. Typically you do not see these caterpillars on your plant, but if you do, caterpillar pests are safely controlled with Bt ? Bacillus thuringiensis ? a perfectly harmless species of bacteria that kills caterpillar pests, but not you. Hope this answers all your questions!

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