Tropical Hibiscus insects

Teresa C
by Teresa C
These critters are circling the hibiscus pots outdoors. Can anyone identify & provide suggestion on how to get rid of them. Could they be the reason for all the holes in the leaves or do you think it might be something else?
  14 answers
  • Gabrielle Falk Gabrielle Falk on Apr 27, 2016
    If you are not sure what it is, and this is what I do, take a photo to your local plant nursery. ps If you do this, then you won't be destroying any helpful bugs. I never use poison on trees because you never know what else you could be killing.
  • Leona Baker Leona Baker on Apr 27, 2016
    these are lady bug larva, a GOOD bug. they are probably eating aphids
  • Janet Pizaro Janet Pizaro on Apr 27, 2016
    The holes in your hibiscus leaves are not from the lady bug larva. I would check above and below your leaves to see if any other critters are on them. Hibiscus are prone to certain worms,however that is not the damaged I am seeing. You can use a systemic granular and along with that a horticultural oil making sure to spray over and under the leaves.
  • J d J d on Apr 27, 2016
    you might try dusting the plant with 'Sevin' dust.
  • Dwo4027441 Dwo4027441 on Apr 27, 2016
    I use hot pepper spray when I have no Lady bugs in sight.If your looking to poison your world then Sevin is a good choice,just remember,you'll also be killing the good bugs.Let the Lady bug larva do their job.That is the way of nature,let her do her job.Your lucky the Ladybugs love your yard
  • Donna L. Woods-Clements Donna L. Woods-Clements on Apr 27, 2016
    Those are ladybug babies! Don't kill them, & for Heaven's sake don't use Sevin! The ladybugs may be eating aphids, which could be causing the holes. You could have slugs, which cause holes, in which case ask your local nursery person about "diatomaceous earth."
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Apr 27, 2016
    The holes in your leaves may well be happening by the dreaded 'night munching garden fairy zombies'. If you have any 'fairy gardens' on your property, get rid of them!
  • Belle Belle on Apr 27, 2016
    make a spray w/ a drop of dawn detergent in it and spray or wipe down your leaves weekly. If it is a bug, the detergent will discourage them. If it is a mold or mildew on your plants, consider putting some baking soda in the spray. There are lots of solutions on the net like that. Also, put 2-3 uncoated regular aspirin tablets in the soil. It will discourage white fly and spider mites which are another common concern on hibiscus & other houseplants. The aspirin trick has keep my houseplants happy and bug free for years!
  • Belle Belle on Apr 27, 2016
    I think the bug shown is a juvenile ladybug ... these are good bugs and don't normally eat hibiscus, but is probably eating the culprits. Here is some information:
  • Russell Russell on Apr 27, 2016
    A mixture of water and garlic extract 10 to 1 will discourage leaf eaters. Don't spray everything with it, just the leaves that matter. Let the leaf eaters have the older leaves. Most insects have a purpose and benefit us. Poisons wash off plants, end up in the soil and eventually our water.
  • Caley's Culinaries Caley's Culinaries on Apr 30, 2016
    DON'T SPRAY THOSE! They are ladybug larvae! They eat a lot of bad bugs! They are probably there because of whatever is eating your plant. Follow them to see what they are eating then wait until they hatch before you spray.
  • Caley's Culinaries Caley's Culinaries on Apr 30, 2016
    BTW, those are some nice green leaves. Good gardening there!
  • Joan Dillon Joan Dillon on May 01, 2016
    I see three different things going on here. The first one are the white "frequent flyers" are white fly. Eggs are being laid by the white fly and their larvae are sap suckers (they don't chew) The alligator looking guys are the ladybug larvae and they eat more plant sucking insects than their parent adults. The holes in the leaves are by some sort of leaf chewers, my guess would be slugs. Try small tins of beer on the soil below the plant and see if the invitation to the beer party drowns your sorrow?
  • Michelle Leslie Michelle Leslie on Jul 05, 2020

    Hi Teresa, not sure if you solved your hibiscus problem, but this site has a whole bunch of tips that might help -