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Pests destroying lupins

Surrey, United Kingdom Gb

I have a fairly large lupin plant in a big pot which has been attacked constantly this year by snails (which I now have under control) and other pests. A whitish coating has appeared on leaves, which seems to be controllable with anti-fungal spray, but there is something else, too small to see, which is eating the new leaves very rapidly, almost as soon as they appear. No "bug" spray seems to be able to get rid of it. What could it be and how can I deal with it?



I would hazard a guess that these are earwigs. They feed at night so you don't see them. Try picking up the pot to see if any of the little blighters come scuttling out.... I haven't had any luck with eradicating them - sorry I can't help!

6 Aug, 2009


Many thanks, I will check. The leaves are being eaten at night so it may well be earwigs :-/

6 Aug, 2009


Earwigs apparently eat aphids too I learnt recently, so put them somewhere they can be helpful.

The white power is mildew, which lupins are prone to, but growing yours in a pot will make it particularly susceptable due to water stress. Lupins aren't great for container culture - much better off in the ground.

Try to avoid over use of bug spray - you just end up killing the things that are helpful, leaving the badies with no preditors to keep them in check - much better to allow nature to form a balance. Plus insecticides are damaging to the enviromment during their manufacture with factories in deveoping countries pumping chemicals into the atmosphere.

6 Aug, 2009


Thank you for this. I was thinking of moving the lupin out of the pot so will definitely do so and will keep the bug spray advice in mind too. (Our immediate vicinity seems to have been overrun this summer with what I have now discovered to be a winged species of earwig - they are everywhere, even on the pavements.)

6 Aug, 2009


most ant powders are effective against earwigs

7 Aug, 2009


Winged earwigs? That's new...what part of the country are you in?

10 Aug, 2009


Surrey. I'm actually only guessing that they are winged earwigs! But they look exactly like earwigs except for the wings (although they don't seem to actually fly). I looked them up and couldn't find anything else that they were likely to be. I haven't seen them anywhere else, just around where we live.

10 Aug, 2009

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