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Problem
(factsheet)
Plant NameTypeDescription 
Daylily gall midgeDaylilyInsectThe daylily or Hemerocallis gall midge (Contarinia quinquenotata) is the larva of a small, nondescript, grayish-brown fly. The adult fly overwinters in the soil and emerges in spring to lay eggs on developing flower buds, making early-blooming varieties most susceptible to damage. There is only one generation per year, so later-blooming varieties are less likely to be infested. The eggs hatch in mid-spring to early summer. Up to 300 larvae may feed inside a single flower bud. The legless and wingless larvae are white to cream-colored, and about 1/8 inch long. Damaged buds appear unusually short, swollen, and distorted. They may also be discolored or pale. Buds may either open abnormally or fail to open and drop from the plant. The larvae may be confused with thrips.
ThripsDaylilyInsectSeveral species of thrips may be found on daylilies. Thrips are tiny (usually less than 1/8 inch long), fast-moving insects often found on leaves and between flower petals. Adults are typically yellow to brown; nymphs are usually yellow to whitish. Both immature nymphs and adults may feed on leaves and flower buds. A common symptom of thrips feeding damage is the presence of silvery streaks or speckles on leaf and flower tissues. Typical thrips damage is primarily cosmetic, but stressed plants or hot, dry weather conditions can result in more serious damage. Heavy infestations may cause leaf and flower stunting and distortion, and buds may die and drop from the plant without opening. Because of this, damage caused by thrips may be confused with that caused by daylily gall midge larvae. However, gall midge larvae are both legless and wingless and feed exclusively inside flower buds.