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07/24/2018

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"Learning to Love Hostas"

Some of these insects chew on the host plants during their life-cycle. I'm not concerned with the nibblers who trim or leave small holes in leaves but others strip everything to a stem - Red Lillie Beetles for example. Is there an easy way to categorize the nibblers from the strippers or is it all wait and see?

Thanks!

Karen Rexrode

The red lily beetle is one of the worst offenders since lilies need all of their foliage to restock the bulb. But one thing I have noticed, most host plants for moths and their caterpillars are designed to be eaten, sometimes all the way to the ground, but they are quick to rejuvenate. Examples are willow or salix, my nicotiana, and asclepias or butterfly weed. It might be an invasive alien species thing, were the predators that feed on them aren't here. I know that so many moths are introduced. It's definitely a case by case study. Identification first.

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