As we approach summer, I have already received two reports of Lily Borer. It is quite early for this, however, with changing weather patterns I believe this to be inevitable. Lily Borer is a serious pest to lilies’ such as Crinum, Clivias’, Agapanthus and Hippeastrum (Summer flowering Agapanthus). When they get out of hand, the damage they can do is tremendous as they bore down into the crown of the plant leaving droppings everywhere. Once they start to develop, they become resistant to many neonicotinoids like Koinor. They can then only be effectively treated either by handpicking or by pouring or spraying a high concentration of cypermethrin 200g/L such as Kemprin directly into the crown to have direct contact with the worms. This option is by far the most effective as it will kill the smaller ones often easily missed by the eye. Once the Lily Borers have gorged themselves, they have often done so much damage that the crown and/or bulb starts to rot. If this happens, it’s unlikely that the plant can be saved so always be observant and treat preventatively.
Chafer beetles (or more commonly known as Christmas beetles) will be making a showing sooner rather than later. These pests lay eggs into high-quality soils and then grow into what are commonly referred to as white grubs. These grubs are primarily detritus feeders, however, when the going gets tough and food is in short supply, they turn to eating feeder roots on plants causing them to wilt and die. This is mostly a problem in pots as the soil quality is good. The eggs hatch in large numbers and they are protected from predation by the pots. Natural predators such as hadeda’s and moles cannot control their numbers in this environment and the grubs quickly start attacking the plants causing loss of new plants especially annuals. Treat with Stedfast or Plant Care for quick easy to use solutions.
Lastly, there is the issue of house flies. Remember to put up some new bait stations and your residual sprays for indoors to keep these pests away and under control. Bait bags will keep the flies well away from the house and the residual sprays will kill off any errant flies that somehow find themselves missing this buffet of doom. Remember to always consult your local specialist to avoid unsafe chemicals, especially when spraying indoors. You should only use products that are registered as safe as these products have undergone extensive safety testing and have much lower mammalian toxicity.