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Pollen beetles

Symptoms

Flower heads are infested with small bronze-green shiny beetles that spread pollen over petals.
Find it on: shasta daisies, sweet peas, cauliflowers, many ornamentals and vegetables
Time to act: spring, summer

Overview

In spring and summer, pollen beetles fly in from nearby oilseed rape crops to gather in open flowers where they feed on ripe pollen. Mostly, the beetles do little harm although occasionally they may nibble into unopened flower buds and damage the developing flowers of cauliflowers.
Solution
Flower heads are infested with small bronze-green shiny beetles that spread pollen over petals.
Organic
Pollen beetles can be a nuisance if you want to bring cut flowers indoors. Stand the flowers in a bucket somewhere dark for a few hours, say a shed, but near to a bright window or lamp. The beetles will fly up towards the light. Grow brassica crops under fleece or very fine mesh netting.



Discuss this problem

Talkback: Pollen beetles
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kaycurtis 24/11/2011 at 15:27

I knew that rape seed crop caused me terrible allergy but to find it is also responsable for these horrid little beetles is the last straw, as for some years now it has been grown in fields where I live.

bt27uk 24/11/2011 at 15:28

Thank you for this article! These beetles appeared in my squash and courgette flowers this year, and I had no idea what they were. Great to know that they aren't particularly damaging.

daffodiljj 24/11/2011 at 15:28

so relieved these don't cause a problem they seem to be in every single daffodil I have in my garden and my magnolia tree, never seen them before so I guess the rape fields must be high this year.
Thank you

bigbear 24/11/2011 at 15:29

We have absolutely plagues of them and I'm afraid to say they do a lot of damage in my garden. They strip my daffodil petals bare and tend to eat the petals on petunias and other colourful flowers.

Norfolkdumpling 24/11/2011 at 15:29

I'm glad i've found out what these pests are. I have been plagued with them for the past two weeks, and could do nothing but watch them munch their way through the flowers on my dahlias, roses and runner beans. And they love the bright yellow evening primrose! They have also been attracted to my washing!Weather has now deteriorated a bit (Gt Yarmouth area) so maybe there will be less pollen beetles about. Thanks for information.

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