Bulb pests

Rodger Whitlock totototo@pacificcoast.net
Wed, 23 Jun 2004 11:46:24 PDT
On 19 Jun 04 at 8:06, Mark Smyth wrote:

> Does anyone know of a control, other than hot water, for Narcissus
> flies? I have never seen as many as this year. I have lost count of
> how many I have swatted over the last few months. All my friends
> have them.

Unlike the vine weevil, the narcissus fly is quite sensitive to the
usual range of insecticides -- it's just a fly. A drench of almost
any residual insecticide, such as methoxychlor, will do -- if, that
is, you can still obtain the stuff. The difficulty is that even
methoxychlor requires re-application every two or three weeks for
two or three months while the fly is on the wing, and I for one am 
not thrilled with the idea of using so much of any pesticide.

We have a great many feral narcissus here and they host narcissus 
flies in huge numbers. Many cultivars disappear in one year. I've 
taken to growing my favorites in large pots and putting these in the 
shade one the flowers are over. The narcissus fly does not seem to 
attack bulbs in the shade.

I am surprised that pheromone traps have not been developed for the 
narcissus fly.

Rodger Whitlock
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Maritime Zone 8, a cool Mediterranean climate

on beautiful Vancouver Island

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