Lilli Pilli Hedges are in danger from unseen pests
Lilli Pilli Beetles are once again munching their way through the hedges of the Wollondilly. These insects Paropsides calypso or Lilli Pilli beetle were once mainly found in ares North of Coffs Harbour however are now being found as far South as Melbourne.
Why is it such a concern? Many people establish a hedge over many years to aid in privacy, an attack from Lilli Pilli beetle can reduce a hedge to a scrappy stand of twigs within months when not attended to.
What measures can you take to save your hedges?
There is no easy fix for Paropsides calypso, the best way to treat is to spray the entire hedge with a systemic pesticide such as the product that used to be available as Confidor however it seems to have been taken off the market for the home gardeners use.
This leaves us with a choice of many of the pesticides on the shelf at garden centres and that big hardware store. Really any synthetic pyrethroid will kill the insects it comes in to contact with and may kill some of the larvae or beetles that eat a leaf that has a significant dose of the product on it. The problem with synthetic pyrethroids in this circumstance is just what they are valued for in other circumstances and that is that they are not long lasting in this situation. Apart from the plant taking in and disposing of the pesticide in the soil it does not last well with rain or watering.
If you perservere with a search for Imidacloprid (Confidor) you may be able to find it at an agricultural supplier or other online reseller.
At Pestgo we can purchase and use Imidacloprid for this use and we provide a service to apply to hedges and other ornamentals in our area. The best way to get rid of the Lilli Pilli Beetle is to treat early in Spring and then around six weeks later repeat the treatment. An application of a seaweed tonic is advisable as this aids root health necesary for the hedge to recover. We can also carry out this service.
As an added bonus when you treat your Lilli Pilli hedge with Imidacloprid the psyllid problem that you may have been experiencing disapears as well.