Irises forum→What are these bugs in my iris blossoms?

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Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 3, 2018 1:40 PM CST
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?
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"Luck favors the prepared mind." - Thomas Jefferson
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Jun 3, 2018 5:38 PM CST
If nobody here can identify them, I would try the pests and diseases forum
https://garden.org/forums/view...
Name: Marilyn, aka "Poly"
South San Francisco Bay Area (Zone 9b)
"The mountains are calling..."
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Polymerous
Jun 3, 2018 10:56 PM CST
Looks like some kind of beetle? Confused
Evaluating an iris seedling, hopefully for rebloom
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
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grannysgarden
Jun 4, 2018 3:59 AM CST
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?
Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Jun 4, 2018 9:04 PM CST
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...

Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 4, 2018 9:30 PM CST
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 (+)]
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Name: Robin
Melbourne, Australia (Zone 10b)
Region: Australia Irises Garden Photography Cat Lover Seed Starter
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Totally_Amazing
Jun 4, 2018 10:02 PM CST
I often get thrips on my irises too Thumbs down
Name: Joshua
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Zone 10b)
Köppen Climate Zone Cfb
Region: Australia Bookworm Cat Lover Lilies Orchids Irises
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Australis
Jun 4, 2018 10:24 PM CST

Plants SuperMod

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.
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Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
Jun 4, 2018 11:30 PM CST
Evelyn, Sorry you have these mysterious beetles(?) eating your flowers. There's always something, it seems. Sad
Name: Timothy
eastern oregon (Zone 7b)
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TBMan
Jun 5, 2018 1:20 AM CST
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 (+)]
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Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
Jun 5, 2018 6:11 PM CST
Well, that sounds grim. Sad
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 6, 2018 12:02 AM CST
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
Los Altos, CA (Zone 9b)
Irises
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AndreaD
Jun 6, 2018 12:22 AM CST
Sighing!
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
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Polymerous
Jun 6, 2018 4:24 PM CST
"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
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 6, 2018 6:34 PM CST
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
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Region: Maryland Bookworm
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DaisyDo
Jun 22, 2018 11:05 PM CST
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
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
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evelyninthegarden
Jun 23, 2018 10:45 AM CST
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
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
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dirtdorphins
Jun 23, 2018 1:47 PM CST
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
Name: Evelyn
Sierra foothills, Northern CA (Zone 8a)
Garden Procrastinator Irises Bee Lover Butterflies Plant and/or Seed Trader Region: California
Cat Lover Deer Bulbs Foliage Fan Annuals Seed Starter
Image
evelyninthegarden
Jun 23, 2018 2:15 PM CST
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
Name: Daisy
close to Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a)
Irises Cat Lover Plant and/or Seed Trader Organic Gardener Region: Maryland Bookworm
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DaisyDo
Jun 27, 2018 4:19 PM CST
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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