Bugs are one of the most severe threats to your hostas. Ignoring this problem can at the very least lead to the ugly appearance of your plants. In the worst case, the bugs can destroy your hosts. Let’s take a look at what they are and determine how to deal with them.
The best way to protect hosta plants from bugs is to use horticultural oil. Mix 1 teaspoon of soap and 2 tablespoons of horticultural oil in 0.3 gallons of water and spray the hostas with it. You also need to clean the entire surface around the hostas of decaying plant debris where insects can hide.
|Mealybugs (Pseudococcidae)||Neem oil, Insecticidal soap|
|Boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata)||Insecticides|
|Leaf beetles (Chrysomelidae)||Neem oil, Insecticides|
|Grasshoppers (Caelifera)||Pesticides (carbaryl)|
|Whitefly (Aleyrodidae)||Insecticides (3-4 times per season)|
|Aphid (Aphidoidea)||Neem oil|
|Pill bugs (Armadillidiidae)||Neem oil|
|Black vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus)||Insecticides|
Mealybugs (White bugs)
The Mealybugs are common pests of hostas. They can be detected by the white residues that form in the process of life. These pests can cause damage to the hosta, but this is not likely to be fatal to the plant. The food of these insects is the juice of the plant. They suck on leaves and stems and feed on them throughout the growing season.
Control. The best way to keep your hostas safe from these pests is to spray your plants with a solution of water and neem oil. Add liquid dish soap to the water beforehand so that the oil dissolves in the water. Insecticidal soap and other insecticides also work well.
Boxelder bugs (Orange bugs)
This pest has a flattened elongated black body with orange spots. It can seriously damage your hostas. These beetles mainly gather in large groups and migrate over long distances. They can penetrate the room and even bite people.
Boxelder bugs feed mainly on the seeds of trees, but they can also eat greens. One beetle is unlikely to harm your hosta, but a large cluster of these insects can seriously damage it.
Control. Boxelder bugs are quite strong creatures, so remedies like neem oil and garlic spray have little effect against them. Fortunately, strong insecticides have been developed for agricultural use that can easily control them. You can find such products in every garden center or online plant store.
Leaf beetles (Red bugs)
This insect has a rounded body, and the back is colored bright, preferably red. It feeds mainly on leaves, and in agriculture, it is extremely damaging. May cause considerable damage to hostas, especially the larvae of this beetle.
Control. Gardeners use different methods to control it, but the most effective and long-term is spraying plants with insecticides. Neem oil also works well against them.
This jumping insect is a serious threat to agriculture. The basis of its diet is cereals, but there are omnivorous grasshoppers.
They can eat your hosta almost to the stem, so every gardener should fight them without a second thought.
Control. The best control over this pest is early control. One of the most effective and safe ways to defeat grasshoppers is to use products with carbaryl.
The cutworms damage the plants at night. They eat the plant stem closer to the soil and then move in search of a new plant. They can cause harm to hostas.
Control. To prevent these pests from disturbing you, throw away all plant residues from your garden because that’s where they live. Also, spray hostas with pesticides.
This pest looks like a white bug, and it can damage garden plants. The whitefly is easy to see on a green background of leaves that look like gray-white powder on the leaves.
Control. It is not easy to control this plague because one female lays many eggs several times a season. And even if you destroy one generation, another one will take their place. The only way to defeat them is to spray hostas regularly with a systemic insecticide (at least 3-4 times a year).
Aphid is another pest, and they very small. These insects feed on the juices of the plant. They mainly parasitize on the flower stalks of the hosta. However, the primary threat is that they can transmit viruses that can lead to the plant’s death.
Control. Aphids are very easy to control. If you have a small number of hostas, you can flush out the insects with a jet of water, although they will appear after a while anyway. A more effective method is neem oil. Two or three treatments a year is enough to keep these pests away.
Pill bugs (Sowbugs)
This beetle has a dark gray body that looks like a pill. When the weather is wet, the number of these pests increases and can cause irreparable damage to the plants, they like to hide under flat stones, plant remains, and other damp places.
Control. Clean up all organic debris in the garden. Also, remove any objects that these bugs may be hiding on. If a severe spread occurs, spray the hostas and surrounding soil with neem oil.
Black vine weevil (Black bugs)
This beetle has an elongated body of black color. This is one of the primary pests of hostas (after slugs) and most ornamental plants. As soon as you see this pest in your garden, take measures to protect your plants immediately. Otherwise, the consequences can be deplorable.
Control. This pest is unlikely to be defeated by horticultural oil or other weak means. Insecticides work best, including biological ones (low-toxic).
What can I put on my hostas to keep the bugs from eating them?
There are several methods for control bugs. They all have some effect, some are very strong, and some have minimal impact on insects. You decide what to use against pests. Let’s discuss remedies and start with the most effective.
Many gardeners prefer non-toxic plant protection products. However, pesticides (insecticides) are no more toxic than your car. These are the most effective remedies known today. It would be best if you used a sprayer to apply the insecticide solution to the hostas, and it will do all the work for you.
Use insecticides with caution; they are dangerous for beneficial insects. However, if you treat the young leaves once a season, everything will be fine.
Insecticides are capable of destroying all the insects that threaten your hostas.
Neem oil is a natural remedy that drives away pests from plants. It is extracted from the Neem tree.
It is effective enough against beetles, but it is not effective against grasshoppers. Also, it is unlikely to help against the black vine weevil.
You need to spray a mix of oil and water on the leaves and stems of the plant. This remedy even acting on insect eggs.
The neem oil has one drawback; it works for 1-2 weeks, then the spraying should be repeated. Also, after the rain, you need to respray the plants.
The homemade remedy to protect hosta plants from bugs
There are a couple of homemade products that you can make yourself, and some of them can even help. So let’s take a look at these.
Garlic spray. Some gardeners use a garlic spray to protect their hosta from beetles. This way has the right to life, and it can even be quite useful. You can buy it or also make it yourself. However, I do not recommend using it as it has a narrow range of action (useless against grasshoppers and big beetles). Besides, its period of validity will be short.
Vinegar. Do not use vinegar in the fight against bugs! Vinegar will destroy your hostas. Even a mix of vinegar and water can harm plants.