Notorious B.U.G

Hey, we got some notorious bugs comin’ at ya this spring. Keep your eyes open for these trouble makers. Here is the line-up:

THE 4-LINED PLANT BUG is tearing it up on Catmint, Montauk Daisies, Basil, Salvia, Hydrangeas and many more.

Damage: Usually you see the damage before you see this speedy artist. Look for irregular, depressed circles on leaves. Circles are small and dark in color. If many feeding spots are close together, they tend to coalesce and turn into one large, brown area. Leaves may curl, dry up and look plain ole’ ugly. I’ve seen them destroy an entire Montauk Daisy. Ugh!

Insect: This tricky shapeshifter looks completely different as a young nymph than as an adult. Unfortunately, these bad guys do damage at all stages. They are fast and hard to see. The young nymphs are tiny and reddish/orangish in color. They have tiny little wing pads that show a little black color. The grown adults do not set a good example for their young ones. These limey yellow and black striped adults keep sucking the good stuff out of our plants and injecting bad stuff as they feed.


*Organic – Pyrethrins work the best to knock down this thug. You can use straight Pyrethrin or you can find it in Japanese Beetle Killer or End-All.

*Conventional – There are so many choices that work but my go-to products are Rose & Flower Insect Killer or Eight.

*Be sure to cut back affected plants in the fall and throw clippings into the garbage. They lay their eggs in these plants. Eggs overwinter and then the bad bugs hatch and begin their party.

THE ROSE SAWFLY is wreckin’ it on our beautiful rose bushes. In particular, it loves the Knock Out roses.

Damage: These bad dudes are sneaky and just eat the green layer of the rose leaf, top, and bottom. The leaves end up looking like skeletons of themselves. They become tan-colored window panes that you can see right through. Eventually, these flimsy window panes break and become holes, often mistaken for a disease.

Insect: It’s the babies of the Rose Sawfly that are the real trouble makers. These little slug-like characters use camouflage to go about their dirty business. You can barely see these light yellowish-green insects creeping around your rose leaves. Their head is usually orange and the whole body is just about a ½ inch long.


*Organic – The best product is Captain Jacks Dead Bug Brew. Not many organics are labeled for Sawfly larvae. I also like End-All & Insecticidal Soap. They will give you good control with direct contact. Don’t be fooled by these little buggers and try and use BT. BT is only good for caterpillars. This is not a caterpillar. I repeat this is not a caterpillar.

*Conventional – Bayer Rose & Flower Insect Killer is my go-to product, however, Eight also does a great job.

THE GYPSY MOTH is putting on a big show this year, showing up on every Oak, Maple, Rose, and even Blueberry.

Damage: They chomp through every part of the leaf, tearin’ it up. Little pieces of leaves fall to the ground as they eat it to nothing, bite by bite.

Insect: The Gypsy Moth Caterpillar is the culprit. When it first hatches in the spring it looks small, grayish-black, and fuzzy. As it grows, it gets fancier with blue and red spots. Don’t be fooled by this handsome caterpillar. He is up to no good!


*Organic – BT is great when the Gypsy Moth Caterpillar is small. As the caterpillar gets bigger switch to Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew. It will take them out.

*Conventional – Eight with the hose-end sprayer works great. For smaller areas, Rose and Flower Insect Killer will take them down.

*Note – Banding the trees with Paper Tree Wrap & Tree Banding Gum will catch those culprits as they travel up and down the tree.

Holla’ back at these bad bugs. Don’t let them take over and destroy your favorite plants.

Come see us at Van Wilgen’s. We would love to help!


*Pyrethrin by Bonide

*Japanese Beetle Killer by Bonide

*Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew

*End-All by Safer

*Insecticidal Soap by Safer


*Eight by Bonide

*Paper Tree Wrap

*Tree Banding Gum