Irises forum: Seeking advice for iris borers

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Name: Lisa Klette
Dayton, KY (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Irises Dahlias Sempervivums Hostas Region: Kentucky
Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Art Lilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lilydaydreamer
Feb 11, 2017 9:21 AM CST
Hello all,

I am seeking advise on iris borers as weather has been strange and the hatching/treatment may be sooner than normal.

I prefer not to use chemicals that may be harmful to humans/animals including bees but 3 years ago I did treat with a bayer (3 in 1 ?) product as someone had suggested it to kill the hatching larva.

Last year I spent a lot of time pinching and digging out/resetting trying to remove iris borers. Unfortunately I have neighbors who do nothing to protect their iris so the moths are still around and seem to seek my iris to lay their eggs!

3 treatments I am curious about and hoping someone has experience to share


Spinosad - how effective and safe is it?

Beneficial insects - lacewings? Others?

Benificial nematodes?


I know the time window to get the larva is very small between hatching and boring into iris and would love to stop them in their tracks this year!


Thanks,
Lisa
Love what you teach and teach what you love!
[Last edited by Lilydaydreamer - Feb 11, 2017 9:23 AM (+)]
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Name: Niki
Bend, Oregon (Zone 6a)
Flowers are food for the soul.
Region: Oregon Bee Lover Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Frogs and Toads
Hummingbirder Irises Organic Gardener
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HighdesertNiki
Feb 11, 2017 10:38 AM CST
First remove all dead leaves (that pull away easily, use scissors if you are inclined to pull) and burn them(dispose permanently). A lot of pests overwinter on them including aphids. Here's a link for further information http://www.missouribotanicalga... Welcome to the forum and good luck.
"The Earth laughs in flowers."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
[Last edited by HighdesertNiki - Feb 11, 2017 8:56 PM (+)]
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Name: Lisa Klette
Dayton, KY (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Irises Dahlias Sempervivums Hostas Region: Kentucky
Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Art Lilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lilydaydreamer
Feb 11, 2017 11:04 PM CST
Thanks Niki

I have already removed dead foliage. I went to your link and it mentions spinosad. Still looking for information on using it from anyone who has tried it.
Love what you teach and teach what you love!
Name: Lucy
Hamilton, MA (Zone 6b)
irises
Charter ATP Member Cottage Gardener Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: United Kingdom Region: Northeast US Irises
Region: United States of America
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irisarian
Feb 18, 2017 2:50 PM CST
We have friends who had good luck with the beneficial nemotoads. they are quite temperature specific but safe for other insects.
Name: Jane H.
Kentucky (Zone 6b)
Irises Birds Region: United States of America Region: Kentucky Clematis
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janielouy
Feb 18, 2017 6:12 PM CST
The 3 in 1 product is made by Bayer Advanced and contains Merit or imidacloprid as the chemical ingredient. I have used it as a drench and there is a 2 in 1 granular kind also by Bayer. Both contain fertilizer. They are easy to use and mostly effective if applied at the right time. That is key and hard to determine. It is likely that you would need to apply it several times at 6 week intervals. I still have some borers but not as many as doing nothing. My neighbor also does not do any chemical treatment so I get the moths from his yard too.
Name: Lisa Klette
Dayton, KY (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Irises Dahlias Sempervivums Hostas Region: Kentucky
Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Art Lilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Lilydaydreamer
Feb 19, 2017 9:50 AM CST
Thanks for your responses. I am still unsure of when to apply anything as temps are not normal this year.
Our temps are in the mid 60s (which is way high for Feb. in Northern KY!). My poor hydrangea is already budding out.

If they hatch early, will they survive or die if temps go back down? I would hate to apply a chemical if nature is wiping out most of them.

Lisa
Love what you teach and teach what you love!
[Last edited by Lilydaydreamer - Feb 19, 2017 2:20 PM (+)]
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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Feb 19, 2017 1:19 PM CST
Once you have temps that stay above freezing for about a week, they will be hatching. It's best to treat them before they start munching too much, as it takes awhile for the chemicals to get into the plant. Once hatched, they seem to survive colder temps.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Lisa Klette
Dayton, KY (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Irises Dahlias Sempervivums Hostas Region: Kentucky
Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Art Lilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lilydaydreamer
Feb 19, 2017 2:23 PM CST
Ok, I broke down and went ahead and applied the Bayer 3 in 1 drench today to my iris. I will repeat one more time in 6 weeks and hope that is enough. If not, I will be out there pinching leaves again this year.

Lisa
Love what you teach and teach what you love!
Name: Niki
Bend, Oregon (Zone 6a)
Flowers are food for the soul.
Region: Oregon Bee Lover Butterflies Daylilies Dragonflies Frogs and Toads
Hummingbirder Irises Organic Gardener
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HighdesertNiki
Feb 19, 2017 7:33 PM CST
Good luck Lisa, I am in an area of the country where they usually aren't seen. I'll keep an eye out just in case, now is that I don't just have free noIDs.
"The Earth laughs in flowers."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Mar 30, 2017 7:57 PM CST
Here are the instructions I got from ??? somewhere, don't recall. I do this every year and it has pretty much gotten rid of the iris borer in my gardens:

Do a good clean up of the clumps either in the fall after frost hits or next spring (I do both). Next spring, before temps get to 70 degrees but after the irises have started actively growing, treat them with a grub control product containing imidacloprid. Bayer makes a product called Merit Lawn & Grub Control. It works.
Name: Lisa Klette
Dayton, KY (Zone 6a)
Daylilies Irises Dahlias Sempervivums Hostas Region: Kentucky
Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Art Lilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
Lilydaydreamer
Mar 31, 2017 4:43 AM CST
Thanks Sue! Thumbs up
Love what you teach and teach what you love!

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