Look for Hibiscus sawfly damage

This week I found severe damage by hibiscus sawfly.  Larvae and adults were present on

Damage caused by hibiscus sawfly larvae.  Photo: S.D. Frank

Damage caused by hibiscus sawfly larvae. Photo: S.D. Frank

the plants I surveyed. The adults are active throughout the summer. The larvae feed on hibiscus and related plants. The larvae skeletonize leaves when they are young but quickly defoliate plants as they grow. Insecticides for management include bifenthrin, spinosad, acetamiprid, azadirachtin and others listed in this insect note.

Plants around campus were also damaged and I noticed these adults present. Sawflies are actually wasps (Order: Hymenoptera) which is why not all insecticides labels for caterpillars are effective. They are not caterpillars they are wasp larvae. Other sawflies I have reported on are the pine sawfly and rose sawfly both of

Adult hibiscus sawfly. Photo: S.D. Frank

Adult hibiscus sawfly. Photo: S.D. Frank

which I have found at the JC Raulston Arboretum and on Main campus.

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