I have spotted beetles, very small, on my Columbine seed pods. What are they, are they good or bad, and should I be concerned enough to use pesticides?
Marquette County Michigan
My references do not indicate there is any particular pest of columbine that feeds on seeds. Unless you are trying to save seeds of this plant, it shouldn’t be a problem for the plant. Some common spotted beetles are spotted cucumber beetle, Asian lady beetle and Dermestid beetles.
You have a couple options to get the insects identified. Take clear pictures of 3-4 insects on a plain white piece of paper with something like a coin or pencil in the shot so we can get an idea of size, and attach to this question.
Or capture about 10-12 insects and submit to MSU Pestid lab for identification. Insects must be whole and undamaged.
To preserve and protect fragile specimens, it’s always best to submit insects in a small leak proof vial filled with vinegar. Place the vial in a small zip-lock baggie, then in a small box or mailing tube and mail to:
578 Wilson Rd.
East Lansing MI 48824-6469
Be sure to include a note with your contact information including your email address.
You can download one of our submittal forms here:
Here is the website for the lab: https://pestid.msu.edu/location/