Insects

How to Get Rid of Leaf Rollers

Many of your garden plants are in danger when infested by leaf rollers. These insects will eat and deform the leaves, making them look crumpled. As a result, the affected plants become unhealthy and look unsightly. You must learn how to get rid of leaf rollers, otherwise they may spread on to your other plants. With the proper techniques and chemical solutions, treating your garden shouldn’t be too hard.

Types of Leaf Rollers

There are two types of leaf rollers that can attack your garden – the canna leaf roller and the lesser leaf roller. The canna leaf roller, which is the larva of the Brazilian skipper butterfly, infests mainly canna plants. It burrows and rolls itself in a leaf, deforming it in the process. The leaf serves as shelter and food for the garden pest. The lesser leaf roller, on the other hand, is the larva of a Geshna Cannalis moth. It attacks just like their larger cousins, only it spins strands around the leaf, which cause even more damage and deformity.

Manual Treatment Procedures

Removing leaf rollers can cause further leaf damage or even the removal of badly infected leaves. The insects are tightly bound, so ripping the infected portions of the leaves is necessary, unless you plan to use insecticides. The infected parts should be burned to eliminate the eggs, if there are any.

  • Cut Off Badly Infected Leaves – If your canna plant still has a number of healthy leaves, you might as well cut off the damaged ones. By doing so, you can save the healthy leaves from infestation, keeping the pests away from them. Your plants will eventually grow new sets of leaves, so you shouldn’t worry. Burn the damaged leaves to ascertain that the pests and the eggs will perish. You can’t risk letting them crawl back to your plants.
  • Pick off the Insects Manually – Partially damaged leaves can be saved by picking off the pests. Cut the insects’ shelters open and extract the caterpillars. Burn them or throw them away, so they can’t do any further damage. If you find the leaf rollers too icky, just wear gloves when extracting them.
  • The Ladybug Treatment – The ladybug’s diet consists mainly of garden pests. What you can do is, release an array of ladybugs on your garden. They will zero in on the caterpillars, taking them out of the infected leaves.

The manual procedures are quick, considering you only need to pull leaves or pick caterpillars. However, if you plan to save the leaves, you will need to apply chemicals.

Chemical Solutions

Chemical solutions are your best buds when treating a leaf roller infestation. Not only do they control leaf rollers, some of them also conceal the damage on the leaves. The harshly formulated ones, however, kill off also the insects beneficial for the plants’ growth. Wear gloves and protective gear when applying chemical solutions, since they are poisonous and may irritate the skin.

  • Bacillus Thuringiensis Insecticide – Insecticides containing bacillus thuringiensis are potent worm and pest killers. Naturally, you can use them to get rid of leaf rollers. The solutions, once applied, stop the pests from eating the leaves and later annihilate them. The insecticides’ effects last for only a couple of days, so you should monitor the state of your plants occasionally. Apply the manual procedures first.
  • Systematic Insecticide – Systematic insecticides are more potent than regular ones, given their potent formulations. The results come faster, but on the downside, it can damage the leaves of some garden plants. Spray carefully when applying to prevent it from reaching nearby plants, otherwise you might ruin them just as much as the leaf roller infection.
  • Carbaryl Insecticide – The insecticide, liquid in form, can easily penetrate the insects’ shelters, killing them in the process. Effective as the solution is, it can also eliminate insects that are helpful for your garden. Just use it when the other types of insecticide fail.
  • Fertilizers – Fertilizers may not always kill leaf rollers, but they certainly raise the leaves’ durability, helping them avoid leaf roller infestations. They also make the soil richer, which in turn, provides the plants proper nourishment. If your focus is on killing leaf rollers, you’re better off with alcohol fertilizers, otherwise organic ones. Organic fertilizers are safer and sometimes the more effective choices.

A common problem for chemical solutions is the stiff pricing on the market. You should have a considerable amounts of cash if you are to treat a large plot of infected plants. Ideally, the manual methods must be applied first to minimize consumption.

Proper Methods for Proper Situations

By applying the methods for removing leaf rollers, you can restore and preserve your garden after serious infection. Maximize the advantages of each treatment, which in effect, lowers your effort and spendings. Remember, a leaf roller-free garden is often picturesque.

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Nicole Harding

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