Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sawfly Larvae

Just as a forewarning what I am about to write about is kind of gross - especially if you don't like bugs.

My mom came up this past weekend to help me with house stuff. One of the things she helped me with was the front yard - the flower bed in particular. She showed me how to weed more efficiently and effectively than I had been doing before. We also spent some more time trimming the bushes - particularly the ones closer to the ground that I wasn't sure what to do with before. And she helped me clean up the flower bed in general by raking, etc. After about 10-15 minutes into working on the flower beds my mom asked out one of the bushes. Can you tell which one??

Upon further inspection, and to our horror, we found this (or these depending on how you look at it).

Ummm, EEEEEEWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!! WORMS EVERYWHERE!!!! We looked some more and they were all over the poor bush eating it to pieces (if you couldn't already tell from the first picture). 
Mom was adamant that we needed to find out what these were and how we could get rid of them - ASAP. So, we clipped them off the healthier bush (they were just beginning to infest the bush to the right) and put the clippings in a bag. We then took the clippings to Lowe's to figure out what we should do. They had a professional arborist who was really helpful and told us that my bush was infested with "Sawfly Larvae." These little creatures eventually grow into wasp-like bugs, but they don't sting. 
The solution? Spray them with this soapy liquid. The sawfly larvae apparently breathe through their skin, so the soap adheres to them and basically suffocates the larvae (fine by me!). So we bought a couple bottles of the soapy stuff, went home and began spraying away.
I have continued to go out every day and spray any remaining larvae I can find that are still alive. And we now have what I like to call our "Sawfly Graveyard"...

Yes - those are the dead larvae. There are several patches of them below the bush. I don't feel sorry for them at all. Here is what they did to my poor bush:

They ate EVERYTHING! The guy ay Lowe's says our bush has a 50/50 chance of surviving :(
Here's to hoping it survives!! I will continue to diligently go out and search the bush for any more of those darn sawfly larvae. I shall let you know what happens with the bush.
Hopefully it will be strong enough to regenerate...

Happy healing little bushy!


Betsy said...

And might I add - these little boogers did all that damage in less than a week.

sarahlantry said...

I got an account just so I could post on your blog :)

And all I wanted to say was my dad walks around the yard in the summer with a can of some special bug killing junk and a sprayer and douses all the pine trees and bushes. You can tell it works because the tippy top of the trees would be dead as dad couldn't spray that high.

That was totally worth it. haha