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Jun 3, 2018 1:40 PM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
These come every year. Now that I am growing more irises, I think that they want to increase their numbers. What are they, and how can I eliminate them?
Thumb of 2018-06-03/evelyninthegarden/e82b0d Thumb of 2018-06-03/evelyninthegarden/399789 Thumb of 2018-06-03/evelyninthegarden/c952ff
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Jun 3, 2018 5:38 PM CST
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Seed Starter
If nobody here can identify them, I would try the pests and diseases forum
https://garden.org/forums/view...
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Jun 3, 2018 10:56 PM CST
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 1
Looks like some kind of beetle? Confused
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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Jun 4, 2018 3:59 AM CST
Name: Bonnie Sojourner
Harris Brake Lake, Arkansas (Zone 7a)
Magnolia zone
Region: United States of America Region: Arkansas Master Gardener: Arkansas Irises Plant and/or Seed Trader Moon Gardener
Garden Ideas: Master Level Dragonflies Bulbs Garden Art Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Gardens in Buckets
Evelyn, see if you can get one in a jar and take it to your extension office. They will either ID it for you or find someone who can. You will find out its life cycle, what its purpose is and how to eradicate it. Good luck.
Thro' all the tumult and the strife I hear the music ringing; It finds an echo in my soul— How can I keep from singing?
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Jun 4, 2018 9:04 PM CST
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Seed Starter
Having absolutely zero experience in identifying beetles, I did a quick search on google and found a website for identifying beetles
https://www.insectidentificati...

I think oil beetles are a contender:

Oil Beetles
https://www.insectidentificati...
https://www.insectidentificati...

I found a similar beetle called a false oil beetle too

False Oil Beetles
http://www.jasonsteelwildlifep...
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Jun 4, 2018 9:30 PM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
Robin ~ Thank You! Maybe I will catch some in the morning, as I will be going to town tomorrow anyway. Then I can ask the Master Gardeners.

I have handled them with my bare hands to no ill effect, but try and throw them on the ground and squish them. There are so many now since I have more irises. They like to eat the flowers. Also I might have thrips in addition as they like to eat the pollen! Glare Now I see why the pollen is gone from some as they look ravaged, not just bare. Maybe I will collect them too.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Last edited by evelyninthegarden Jun 4, 2018 10:53 PM Icon for preview
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Jun 4, 2018 10:02 PM CST
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Garden Photography Cat Lover Irises Seed Starter
I often get thrips on my irises too Thumbs down
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Jun 4, 2018 10:24 PM CST
Plants SuperMod
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Plant Database Moderator Forum moderator Region: Australia Cat Lover Bookworm Hybridizer
Orchids Lilies Irises Seed Starter Container Gardener Garden Photography
Thrips generally target my roses, but they decided they liked 'Whisper Her Name' last year as well. Pests around my place seem to have distinct preferences... the aphids go for 'Dark Passion' and 'Thunderstick' more than any of the other Irises.
Plant Authorities: Catalogue of Life (Species) --- International Cultivar Registration Authorities (Cultivars) --- RHS Orchid Register --- RHS Lilium Register
My Notes: Orchid Genera HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Traits HTML PDF --- Lilium Species Crosses HTML PDF Excel --- Lilium Species Diagram
The current profile image is that of Iris 'Volcanic Glow'.
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Jun 4, 2018 11:30 PM CST
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises Region: Ukraine
Evelyn, Sorry you have these mysterious beetles(?) eating your flowers. There's always something, it seems. Sad
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Jun 5, 2018 1:20 AM CST
Name: Timothy
eastern oregon (Zone 7b)
Bulbs Region: United States of America Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers hot summers Salvias Region: Pacific Northwest
Peonies Region: Oregon Irises Hybridizer Herbs Dahlias
those are Malachite Flower Beetles -- a voracious pest of virtually anything blooming. Be careful of handling them -- they can spray an irritating acid on your hands if not protected. They are difficult to control, aside from knocking them off or picking them off. I've had some luck with Japanese beetle traps, but only some.
Aside from identifying them, I haven't had much luck in controlling them.
Last edited by TBMan Jun 5, 2018 1:21 AM Icon for preview
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Jun 5, 2018 6:11 PM CST
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises Region: Ukraine
Well, that sounds grim. Sad
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Jun 6, 2018 12:02 AM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
Timothy ~ I have handled them a lot with my bare hands...to no ill effects. Still, after I read about similar beetles, I just knock them off and step on them now. nodding There are several different kinds of things in there now...thrips, something that looks like a cucumber beetle and various small flying insects.

I will be more diligent in taking them off sooner as I usually see them on the wilted blossoms, but not always. If it isn't the bugs, the heat melts the blossoms in one day.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Jun 6, 2018 12:22 AM CST
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises Region: Ukraine
Sighing!
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Jun 6, 2018 4:24 PM CST
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
Region: California Daylilies Irises Vegetable Grower Moon Gardener Dog Lover
Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Pollen collector Garden Procrastinator Garden Ideas: Level 1
"Malachite Flower Beetle"?! Beautiful name for what sounds like a horrid pest!

I'm surprised you're having thrip problems with your irises, Evelyn. Here, they go after certain light colored daylilies...they are thrip magnets!

Good luck with your insect problems... (I think the spider mites or chiggers or whatever are out in force this year...I was deadheading daylilies an hour ago, and just now had to take off my watch band because of itching, because there are now two bites under where the band was! Glare )
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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Jun 6, 2018 6:34 PM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
Yeah, I saw one on one of my roses, and he or she proceeded to eat the blossom until I knocked it off! This seems like a good year for bugs! Sighing!
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Jun 22, 2018 11:05 PM CST
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Amaryllis Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Maryland Organic Gardener Irises Herbs
Hellebores Growing under artificial light Container Gardener Cat Lover Garden Photography Bulbs
Time was when I'd have sprayed insecticide on them, but except for Cornell spray to control powdery mildew on my peonies, I now use no sprays whatsoever. A couple of years ago I ordered lady bugs, and have found out they are marvelous for controlling other pest insects. I also carefully conserve all praying mantis cases when I trim back my dead mum foliage at the beginning of spring. Then I keep an eye out for praying mantis babies and distribute them around the gardens so they are where they need to be, and don't end up eating each other. This has turned out to give much better control of pests than sprays ever did. The problem with sprays is that they kill all the beneficial insects along with the others, and that really puts the ecosystem out of whack, seriously.
-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams
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Jun 23, 2018 10:45 AM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
grannysgarden said:Evelyn, see if you can get one in a jar and take it to your extension office. They will either ID it for you or find someone who can. You will find out its life cycle, what its purpose is and how to eradicate it. Good luck.


Bonnie ~ I did that, but no response. They just seem to eat flowers, roses, too! So I have been "squishing". The blossoms are gone now and most of the bugs too.
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Jun 23, 2018 1:47 PM CST
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Region: Utah Bee Lover Garden Photography Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Photo Contest Winner: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2016 Photo Contest Winner 2018 Photo Contest Winner 2019 Photo Contest Winner 2020 Photo Contest Winner 2021 Photo Contest Winner 2022
it's not possible for me to tell what kind of beetles you had there Evelyn

just for the record, though, Malachite Beetles are mostly predatory--hang out in flowers and hunt other bugs that visit the flowers, but they will eat pollen and nectar. Their larvae are also carnivorous.
http://eol.org/pages/389/overv...

if your beetles are eating the plants they are probably something else
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Jun 23, 2018 2:15 PM CST
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Irises Region: Ukraine Garden Procrastinator Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader
Region: California Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals
TBMan said:those are Malachite Flower Beetles -- a voracious pest of virtually anything blooming. Be careful of handling them -- they can spray an irritating acid on your hands if not protected. They are difficult to control, aside from knocking them off or picking them off. I've had some luck with Japanese beetle traps, but only some.
Aside from identifying them, I haven't had much luck in controlling them.


I have been diligent in squishing (with gloves on), and now that the bloom the time is over, I see very few. I watch for those every day, on my daily inspections. (Roses, too!)
"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
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Jun 27, 2018 4:19 PM CST
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Amaryllis Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: Maryland Organic Gardener Irises Herbs
Hellebores Growing under artificial light Container Gardener Cat Lover Garden Photography Bulbs
Oh, neat - a tip acorn from Evelyn! Thanks Evelyn! Thank You!
-"If I can’t drain a swamp, I’ll go pull some weeds." - Charles Williams

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