Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mexican Evening Primrose - 'Bug Alert'

Mexican Evening Primrose ‘Bug Alert’

With cold winter temperatures behind us and the onset of warm spring weather Mexican Evening Primrose can be found actively growing throughout the Las Vegas Valley with the plants soon to be in full bloom.  However, the warmer temperatures and lush new plant growth also brings out the flea beetle. 

Adult flea beetles feed on plant foliage.  They are very small insects between 1/16 inch to 1/4 inch long.  The color of the insects varies dependent on species with metallic bluish-black most common in our area.  Flea beetles often hide and are difficult to see without close observation of the plant foliage.  In most cases, the presence of the insects are first observed when the new lush foliage begins to look tattered.  The beetles can do a considerable amount of damage in a very short period of time.  The insect will decline in numbers with the onset of hot summer temperatures; however, a second cycle of beetles may appear once again late summer.

To keep your plants healthy and ensure an attractive spring bloom will require early detection of the pest.  Flea beetles are easily controlled with insecticides. 



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