Insects On Bulbs and Tubers

Asked February 5, 2018, 8:30 AM EST

I'm an avid gardener. In addition to a large vegetable garden, my wife and I also grow a large amount of flowers, including dahlias, glads, amaryllis, etc. In recent years, when I dig the bulbs and tubers to bring them into the root cellar for the winter, an increasing number of the bulbs and tubers are infected with a small insect that has been eating the base of the bulb where the roots are primarily located. This damage has been the worst in our glads and amaryllis. I've been removing as many as possible when digging and then dusting them with a garden pesticide to choke any remaining insects. Is there something I can do to exterminate these pests from soil? The problem is growing and I'm seeing an increasing amount of damage year over year. Thanks much and I look forward to hearing from you.

Frederick County Maryland bulbs flowers insect eating base of bulbs

2 Responses

We cannot say for sure what you are dealing with. No control is recommended for the soil. We would like to see photos of what the damage/insect looks like. If you do not have this, perhaps you can do a Google search and look for photos that show what the damage looks like as best you can. Otherwise, you can send us photos this growing season as soon as you notice symptoms.


Apparently they are thrips. I did some additional searching online and found information about thrips being the only real insect pest of glads. The article says to use Sevin to control them.