Flying Bugs Eating Hollyhocks
Every year, our hollyhocks get 'eaten alive', leaving just a 'skeleton' of the leaves. This is the first year I saw the flying black-bodied, red-head insects about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long. How can I protect our hollyhocks from being ruined, including dying out of the bottom leaves?
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Sounds like a case of the hollyhock weevil. This small beetle eats holes in leaves, flower buds and seeds. They are easily controlled with a variety of products, such as Neem oil. This repellent is toxic to the hollyhock weevil. Also, permethrin (Eight) or carbaryl (Sevin) will work. Rotenone is an effective botanical pesticide. Hollyhock weevil doesn't usually kill plants, but it can make the leaves look pretty ragged.