Daylilies forum→Attack of the ladybugs

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Name: Tina McGuire
KY (Zone 6b)
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beenthere
Jan 16, 2020 10:08 AM CST
Don't know where they're coming from, but I'm plucking them off my seedlings by the double digits every day. I had always thought they did not eat or damage foliage, but this is the third time I've seen this on a leaf! No gnats or any other insects observed. The afflicted leaf then starts to brown and die back. I even found one with a leaf tip in it's mandibles (or whatever) bending it backwards! What are they doing?
Thumb of 2020-01-16/beenthere/5d104f

Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Composter Daylilies Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier
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Seedfork
Jan 16, 2020 1:24 PM CST
I wish they would show up here to eat all my aphids! I have never noticed any damage from lady bugs.
Name: Greg
central North Carolina (Zone 7b)
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gregnc
Jan 16, 2020 1:50 PM CST
Tina - I didn't know they ate plants either, but the Orkin link below indicates some species do. I couldn't find any info about them eating plants in the U/K publication. I always thought the larval stages ate aphids, but the U/K publication indicates adults will too. The good news is they will not reproduce indoors!

https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/...

https://www.orkin.com/other/be...

Name: Tina McGuire
KY (Zone 6b)
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beenthere
Jan 16, 2020 3:04 PM CST
Thanks for the links. After poring over the internet, this actually looks like maybe Thrip damage? Never knew they could infect plants indoors. Potting mix was new and stored indoors until use, new inserts and well washed trays. But I have wandered the garden on these pretty days, so maybe I brought one in. It's turning cold here again and the ladybug invasion is slowing, only 4 today so far. Hopefully there will be no further damage. Please let it not be Thrips! Thanks again.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Jan 16, 2020 3:31 PM CST
It doesn't look like thrips damage but yes they can infect plants indoors if they come in with them or another plant from outside. Have you checked for spider mites? (I don't think the damage is spider mites either but that could be what the ladybeetles are after - or maybe they're just checking out the plants to see if they can find anything since there's nothing else to eat). Maybe they already found the culprit and ate it Hilarious!
Name: Tina McGuire
KY (Zone 6b)
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beenthere
Jan 16, 2020 3:47 PM CST
I have frisked those seedings thoroughly and on a daily basis since the first ladybug. Can find nothing. Used the shake and white paper trick. Nothing. Glad to hear you don't think it's Thrips. Ugly they are.
Name: Greg
central North Carolina (Zone 7b)
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gregnc
Jan 17, 2020 8:40 AM CST
Tina - you might try giving several of the plants a vigorous shake over a white surface, or sheet of white paper or stiff paperboard. Hold the pot or cell pack firmly with one hand, tilt it sort of sideways, and shake the foliage with your other hand over the white surface. It's a great way to check your plants for pests. Do this on several plants from several locations to get a good idea of your pest situation. You'll easily see them crawling around on the white surface. If you do have thrips, there are a couple of beneficial nematodes that do a great job of cleaning up thirps, fungus gnats, and shore flies...they are applied to the soil. They attack these insects during their life stages that inhabit the soil. Bagged soil mixes can have these pests as egg and larval stages. Pasteurization before use will usually kill them off. But as you and others have stated, they can come in on other plants, on your clothing, and on pets.
Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Jan 17, 2020 9:06 AM CST
Tina, is there any way that you could be having Asian beetles? They bite me painfully all the time! Grumbling I bet they'd have no trouble with chewing on your leaves. Glare Shrug!
I are sooooo smart!
Name: Tina McGuire
KY (Zone 6b)
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beenthere
Jan 17, 2020 9:14 AM CST
@josieskid you are correct, after the first wave of them I examined closely and they do have the white M on the back of their heads. Just sat and watched one today ( yes I'm easily amused), and they're kinda cute. Sat there cleaning itself like a cat. I did do the white paper thingy Greg, but still nothing.
Name: Nancy
Bowling Green Kentucky (Zone 6b)
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alilyfan
Jan 17, 2020 9:19 AM CST
I always have problems with ladybugs coming inside for the winter. Don't see much until there is a warm, sunny day and they want back outside. I read somewhere that they are not true ladybugs, but a relative. Not sure if that is true or not, but if they are not true ladybugs, I could see they might be chewing on the leaves. Or maybe just out of necessity since not many bugs they normally have access to?
I posted and see you may have already figured it out!
[Last edited by alilyfan - Jan 17, 2020 9:20 AM (+)]
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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4b)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jan 17, 2020 9:28 AM CST
Nancy, the Asian ladybeetle (the one that moves into houses for the winter) is the same family as "regular" ladybeetles, Coccinellidae. We usually get them in the house too but so far there don't seem to be as many as usual this winter. There are other spotted beetles that look sort of like ladybeetles but it sounds like Tina has identified these as Asian ladybeetles (aka ladybugs although technically they are not true bugs).
Name: Tina McGuire
KY (Zone 6b)
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beenthere
Jan 17, 2020 10:20 AM CST
Well, they are still being ushered back outdoors. Will watch out for that bite, Mary! Thanks all for the info and suggestions.
Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Jan 17, 2020 11:00 AM CST
Yeah honey, don't let them get on you! They must have huge teeth! nodding
I are sooooo smart!

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