Likely earwigs. They are a problem to many dahlia lovers. I don't know of any natural methods that truly work. Diatomaceous Earth has been suggested but that needs to be reapplied after every rain or every watering.
I use Ortho's Bug Geta Plus and it does work killing snails, slugs and earwigs.
I have this little dahlia that all the bugs ever created seem to like. It was a trooper and took it all in stride and still bloomed. Now what ever bug(s) have started on the bloom. I have attacked this one plant with sprays, baits,cursing...nothing has helped this poor thing. I have searched under every leaf , in the ground,surrounding soil, can't find the cause of this. I have many dahlias in the same area with no infestation at all. I plan to dig this one up today and pot it and put it in isolation until I figure out what the heck is going on. I feel real sorry for this little guy! Ridoodles, I feel your pain! Maybe certain dahlia taste better than other to bugs.
Poor plant. He is really getting hammered by something. Have you tried putting a copper look around his stem. I have put them around all my dahlias in the ground (except for the new bed which I hope will remain slug free as it is all by itself in the middle of the yard. The others were being nibbled in prep for the main slug attack. Since I put up the little copper 'fences' I don't see any sign of nibbling. I am sure you have seen the rolls of copper. Super thin with a sticky back
I will try the copper strips around the Dahlia. Mary the ones you gave me are Ok...and getting ready to bloom. Can't wait! The flower in the picture above is no more. When I went out this morning, it had been eaten up even though I put fresh slug bait out last night.
Pirl yes to all of the problems you listed!! If you expand the picture bigger you can see the damage in all shapes and nibbles. The white powder is Diatomaceous Earth . It is hard to get an even dusting with all the rain & humidy here in Oregon. Dry spell coming and another dusting of that stuff is in order also.
I will try the ortho stuff I guess. "Oberon" The copper look? What is that ? Did you mean to say Hook? Never heard of them, so you have pics, or a place to get..
"Beahive" you are funny..it sure is pretty..My husband saw a "yellow finch" on it today, but they are known to eat in the upsdie down position, thanks to all for suggestions..
My fingers mispoke. I meant copper loop. You can buy rolls of copper adhered to backing. The rolls are about 1" wide by 20' long. You snip off a length of it sufficient to make a loop around the stem of the plants being attacked. Peel back a bit of the backing, cut it off, wrap around the stem them stick the ends together. It is a good idea to brush away some of the soil from around the stem to get any slug eggs away. Press the collar slightly into the ground. The slugs won't climb on it.
It is called Corry's Slug and Snail copper tape barrier.
I knew what you meant Mary. I have used the product around a vegetable bed when I lived in Cali. Snails were the beast down there.
Here is one of the buds getting ready to bloom from the Dahlia's you sent me. Can't wait to see it bloom. No pest problems so far with these. :)
Looks like it might be Kaiser Wilhelm. I am so very pleased that at least some of them made it. I lost a number of mine but have representative ones left. Plus went nuts and now have around 54 up from 7 or so last year. Talk about waiting with baited breath to see them bloom.
Bought the copper tape today and will be outside shortly to apply it in the trouble area first. Made two stops trying to find Ortho bug geta plus. Only could find Ortho bug geta, no plus. Bought a jug of the regular for now,as the Sluggo product I have been using just disapears overnight but the munching continues. I also put out yellow sticky tapes as I noticed white flies & gnats hanging around. The traps are working catching all kinds of flying insects of the bad kind. Yuck! I will win this battle. I work to hard to make a beautiful gardern for people to enjoy. I will not cave in and let the creepy critter & deer ruin all my hard work. ahh..I feel better now...
mary..look who is here and no bug damage!! Do you have a name for her? I love her she is very beautiful. Her traveling buddies are budding and will be here soon as we are having warmer weather now. Exciting !
Well I have been on the slugs tails so to speak since 7/3 with the application of the copper foil, DE,beer traps,and good old squishing of the beast when I see them. Happy to report, that no slugs found in the beer traps 7/7. I used beer that my daughter left at my house when she moved to GA in Feb. I don't like this beer (merlot kinda gal) and perhaps the slugs did not like it either so I swapped out the beer for yeast water last night and the traps were empty except for two beetles & a small earth worm who must have taken a wrong turn Felt sad for the worm..not so much for the beetle. No slugs in the traps made me happy. Sadly I found 3 youngsters traveling up my fence early this morning racing for my first bloom on my clematis. They went bye-bye. On the 4th I found a slug on a cucumber seedling munching away at that. I was mad..and took care of him. Hey buddy I want to make some pickles!! I have a plan for the cucumber hills to protect them. I hope to get it constructed in the next few days and will post a pic if all works out. I think my idea can work for the dahlias also...next season. My final attack on the beasts was talking to my back neighbor about raking up his fall leaves which are still on the ground.Also his darn Ivy that has taken over some of the fence line and into my flower beds and up most of his trees at fence line. That did not go well, so I used my leaf blower and blew them about 3 feet away from the fence line for now. As they dry out I will keep blowing them as far as they will travel (slug heaven over on his property!) I also asked him again to get some work done on his 100+feet Oaks who have never seen a chain saw. Most are drying or dead from a freeze in 2008. Dangerous. I did not like his answers to my request and the fact he said that he had been living there 36 years,before I came along and no one complained. Well if you had seen the condition of this yard last summer when I moved in, and the condition of my other two neighbors yards & Oak trees now...Yikes. I am surrounded This one will need to be taken to the cities code officer. Not looking forward to that battle...so for now the slugs. :)
I am soooo tickled. That is a 'him' - lol. Kaiser Wilhelm
KAISER WILHELM, 1881 (Rarest)
"This rare souvenir from a lost age is the most antique-looking of all of our dahlias. With neatly curled petals of custard-yellow brushed with burgundy, and a green button-eye like an old-fashioned rose, it’s a true 1800s “fancy” and one of a bare handful of Victorian dahlias that survive today. To honor the 10,000 lost to extinction (yes, 10,000!), in Spring 2007 we named it our Heirloom Bulb of the Year, and Horticulture magazine celebrated it with an article and a full-page photograph. 3 inches, 4-5 feet"
Old House Gardens
It seemed to have more red in it the first year. Not sure why it is more yellow now. I only have two blossoming: Blue Star and Hockley Maroon
I am keeping a close eye for lugs. I have seen some small ones but we are not quite into slug season yet. Hope at least my dahlias are spared
I try to cut and paste into my database descriptions or facts that add to the enjoyment of the flowers. Hockley Maroon is another heirloom. Not sure if you got one of those. If so it is a deep maroon red about the same size as Kaiser. the older dahlias don't seem as exotic as so many of the newer ones. But I like the idea that they have been around for over a hundred years or so.