Hibiscus Beetle

16 Nov, 2021

Aethina concolor. Also known as the sap beetle.

Hibiscus beetle is a small oval-shaped black or dark brown beetle, 3-4mm long, which can be found on various flowers, including hibiscus, abutilons, dahlias, roses and even some weeds. The beetle hides in the flowers’ buds, feeding predominantly on pollen and nectar, though they do like to snack on petals too.


Affected flowers will open with chewed tattered looking petals, foliage can also show signs of damage. Premature flowers drop could be a sign that Hibiscus beetle is present.

Treatment

These beetles are hard to treat, as they are safely hidden inside the flower buds. Any spray on the flowers will also affect other (beneficial) insects that seek out pollen. But there are a couple of tricks to keep them contained.


Each day, remove any dropped flower buds and dispose of them off of the property, as the beetles may still be inside.


Fill a couple of white or yellow containers with soapy water and place them at the bottom of the plant. The beetles are particularly attracted to pale-coloured flowers and the pale-coloured water-filled containers may attract and drown the beetles.


Spray Bio Neem onto the soil surrounding the base of the plant may stop larvae from pupating in the soil. Or sprinkle Neem Powder and water deeply into the soil.


When using sprays and chemicals always read the label and follow instructions carefully. Spray in the evening to avoid harming beneficial insects.

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