Hemerocallis (Daylily) Gall Midge

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by WesternWilson, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    Just wondering how the infestation is going for everyone else this year? My impression is that my daylilies are not as heavily hit this year as last, when I lost almost all the buds all summer long. Sigh.

    I wonder if the cold winter knocked down the number of overwintering pupae in the soil?

    I also found yellow sticky traps at Lee Valley. It may be too late to set them effectively, but they are pretty inexpensive, so I will put them out today.

    Great link:
    http://www.daylilies.org/ahs_dictionary/gallmidge.html

    If any effective controls have been discovered recently, I'd sure like to hear about them. Happy Returns, my favourite daylily, is an early and hard hit bloomer.

    Regards,
    Janet
     
  2. Denise

    Denise Active Member

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    Location:
    Langley B.C. Canada
    I have had day lillies in my garden for years and I've never noticed this problem before. Could it in fact be new to our area of Langley? I have been taking the deformed flower heads off and putting them into the burning pile to burn, so I will have to burn them up soon. I had a sneaking suspicion that I shouldn't put the deformed flower heads in the compost, so I have not. Very annoying. Thanks for sharing the link. Very informative.
     
  3. RBGINVAN

    RBGINVAN Member

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    Location:
    Vancouver west side
    My records show over 50% more infested buds this year in my garden. They were first noticed a couple of weeks earlier than last year and should be done earlier - blooms also started earlier this year.

    I have been rigorous in removing infested buds but it doesn't seem to have much effect. There are many infested plants in the neighbourhood (Vancouver west side).

    Fortunately even with the higher number of infested buds I will only lose about 5% of blooms so it's worth it.

    If you search "daylilies" on this thread you will find extensive discussion of this problem in recent years.

    Bob
     
  4. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    I have not found info on effective controls but I wonder if a soil drench around the daylilies with one of the Safer's products might kill some of the pupating larvae?
     
  5. Araminta

    Araminta Member

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    I have gone thru several Hemerocallis sites, but have not found a photo of an adult daylily gall midge. Does it look like this?
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  6. DaylilyLady

    DaylilyLady Member

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    Location:
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    Good morning - and I thought it might be a good time of year to reflect on the gall midge and update everyone reading with the latest.

    For those who do not know me, we have been battling the gall midge now for 10 years in Langley - and all the information is on our website at www.plantlovers.com/daylily - click on News.

    This year, we found a slightly lower number of affected plants - but the adult midge emerged from the ground a little later than usual, giving her access to more scapes. Normally she will only be able to lay her eggs on the early varieties but this year we saw many of the early-mid season bloomers with some irregular buds.

    I answer many hundreds of questions about gall midge every year, and for the clarification of everyone reading this - you CANNOT see the adult midge with the naked eye. She is so very minute that a microscope is required, so any little flies you see hovering around the daylilies are NOT the gall midge fly. Also, a common thought is that if we get a colder winter, will this help? No it will not. I have done months of testing by freezing bags of infested bulbs - three months in the freezer, take them out and defrost them and within days the larvae are crawling around in there, so obviously cold weather will not diminish the population.

    The same goes for spraying. First, we garden organically - I do not like sprays since we live in an area that is supported 100% by wells. Whatever I put on my soil, I am showering in - so I prefer not to be glowing by the end of my life, so weeds get pulled by hand, aphids on my roses get squished between my fingers, and all the affected gall midge buds get picked off by hand! Yes, it is a long and tedious process, but worth it when bloom season starts! I get many people asking if they should do a soil drench with a chemical to kill the larvae in the soil before they emerge in the spring - but even if you were to spray (also killing all the beneficial insects you have in that soil too!) that would not prevent the midge from flying in from other areas. The adult midge has the capacity to fly 5 km in her 72 hour life span - so she is quite busy! The best form of control continues to be educating as many people as possible as to what to look for - and diligently picking off those affected buds and destroying them - burning is always best! Just do not compost them or they will return in larger numbers.

    This season was spectacular for us - with over 3,000 varieties of daylilies in our garden the bloom was beyond anything we have seen before, due in part to the extremely hot weather which they love. The gall midge is now a distant memory and while it is annoying when dealing with it at the time, it is all worth it when you see such amazing bloom.

    If I can answer any other questions, please feel free to email me. Thank you.

    Pam Erikson
    Erikson's Daylily Gardens
    Langley BC
    Canada's largest collection of award-winning daylilies
    pamela1@istar.ca
    www.plantlovers.com/daylily
     
  7. RBGINVAN

    RBGINVAN Member

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    Location:
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    Looking back a year I have the same problem I posted in July 2009:

    Total infested buds in 2009 were double the figure for 2008 in spite of a severe winter.

    This year to date they are already up 50% compared to 2009 total and I expect more in the next week or so. Incidence will probably reach 10% of total buds.

    I have been rigorous in removing infested buds for many years but it doesn't seem to have much effect. Looking around the neighbourhood (Vancouver west side), I see many infested plants and think the incidence is increasing. Some plants I see have almost all the buds swollen (I have mentioned the problem and solution to a lot of people but few seem to have taken my advice).

    Bottom line, removing infested buds can at best keep the loss down but it won't solve the problem. Better record keeping shows me that a few plants are responsible for a high proportion of the infestation and I might have to remove these though some of them are excellent bloomers. I wonder how far the midges travel in their search for hosts.

    Any comments on your experience or solutions?

    Additional commentary at
    http://www.glendalegardens.ca/daylilypest.php


    Bob
     
  8. Denise

    Denise Active Member

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    Location:
    Langley B.C. Canada
    I too have been taking off half of my day lily flower heads. I'm not sure if there are more affected than last year, but there are certainly a lot. I live near Erikson's Day Lilies in Langley, so I think I may go there and ask if she has noticed any difference. Last year Pam Erikson suggested planting a sacrifice day lily plant which the gall midge goes for before other later blooming varieties, so I did. However this year I think with our cool wet weather it has confused the plants as to whom is to bloom first. I have notice the sacrifice plant with deformed flower heads, but many other varieties are also full of deformed heads. Alas, I seems the only solution is to hand-pick them off and destroy the flower head. I have place them in the freezer for a couple of days and then deposited them in the garbage. I don't know if this is sufficient, but it's what I'm trying. dt
     
  9. bobcat

    bobcat Member

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    Location:
    Qualicum Beach BC
    Today I noticed that my daylilies have in infected with the Gall Midge. So tomorrow I will be deheading all my daylilies and get rid of all the buds and hopefully the Midges as well.
    Thanks for posting this problem as I did not know what was infecting my plants. I live outside of Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, and this year is the first year I have had this problem, last year my daylilies were beatiful.
     
  10. WesternWilson

    WesternWilson Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    Tsawwassen, BC, Canada
    In spite of careful disbudding of infected buds for the last 3 years, this year has been the worst in my garden for HGM. Even later bloomers are infested.

    I will certainly be getting rid of my early bloomers, which alas include my beloved "Happy Returns". Unfortunately, I expect the HGM population will adjust nicely to whatever curves we throw at it, and will begin infesting the later bloomers once they are all that is on offer.

    I think daylilies should be removed from all public or poorly supervised plantings as I often see affected buds left to mature.

    Unless an effective, non toxic control that is widely adopted becomes available, I think the future of daylilies is grim indeed.
     
  11. RBGINVAN

    RBGINVAN Member

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    Location:
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    This year the number of infested buds in my garden is down substantially from last year. I think the dismal spring weather in Vancouver delayed bud formation so some varieties weren't there for eggs to be laid. And one early variety has taken a major share of the infestation - maybe these plants were the only ones available for egg laying and so were effective trap plants. Anybody else have observations or comments on this?

    Bob Gordon
    Vancouver
     
  12. Denise

    Denise Active Member

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    Location:
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    I'm noticing a huge amount of infected plants. It seems since so many of my plants are blooming all at the same time, the later ones, as well as the early varieties are showing deformed buds (and when I take the buds apart, there are the minute larvae inside). I first noticed the deformed flower buds in the Stella D'Oros, which don't necessarily bloom early. My 'sacrifice' plant is called Winton, but my Winton plants aren't even showing signs of profuse budding. I don't know the names of other day lilies I have, but I have many colours, sizes and varieties. Most are affected, including the old 'heritage' orange lilies seen in my grandmother's garden. I will be out this weekend dis-budding the deformed flower heads on my plants, collecting the flowers in a Ziplock and then freezing the bag, then placing it in the garbage. I think this year will be bad for my Langley garden.
     
  13. Megami

    Megami Active Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    New Westminster, BC
    I live in New Westminster, never had a problem with these gall midges in my area before - this year all three of my dayliliy clumps are heavily infected. I've been carefully picking off all infected buds, sealing them in plastic and putting them in the trash... not that it will do much good, as I've noticed that daylilies all over my neighbourhood in yards and boulevards are heavily infested as well. :(
     
  14. Denise

    Denise Active Member

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    Location:
    Langley B.C. Canada
    And I was dismayed to learn that the Gall Midge has a range of 5 km. Even if we keep our garden spotless, we will still be infected with other people's midges since they travel so far. I do think; however that we can cut down on the devastation if we diligently take care of ours, and perhaps talk to neighbours about the problem. Good luck.
    dt
     
  15. rpaterso

    rpaterso Member

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    Location:
    Oak Bay, BC
    I have several varieties in my garden and this year is the worst for gall midges I've encountered in my 8 years here in Oak Bay. The early lemon daylilies were fine, however.
     

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