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Pollen beetles are driving us crazy!

matt_fendermatt_fender Posts: 165
edited June 2019 in Problem solving
We've been completely inundated by pollen beetles over the last few weeks, so much so that we have had to stop cutting sweet peas for the house. I know the beetles are (more or less) harmless outside, but does anyone have any advice/tips/tricks for getting beetles off cut flowers so that they can be brought inside without having literally hundreds of beetles crawl out and scatter around the house? I've tried leaving them in a darker area after cutting (hard to do outside), and vigorous shaking but many of the beetles seem to find their way into unopened flowers, which are then later released.
It seems such a shame not to have our cut flowers inside so if anyone has a fool proof method I'd love to hear it!


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 77,402
    This is the accepted method but I’ve not tried it
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,608
    I use the ‘shed’ method and would say it gets rid of about half the beetles. That means there are only 2000 drifting round the house.
  • matt_fendermatt_fender Posts: 165
    Thanks guys. @Picidae how long do you leave them for? I did try this (rather half-heartedly) yesterday, but I'll try another batch today. I've got an outside cupboard that might work with the door cracked open.
    I haven't suffered these before - how long do they generally hang around for? Are they here for the summer? Thinking about it, I don't remember any at all last year. Although we didn't grow sweet peas last year, they are also all over cosmos, poppies and just about everything else now, and we did grow much of that last year.
  • BenCottoBenCotto RutlandPosts: 3,608
    edited June 2019
    I leave them in the shed for 24 hours.

    With the banning of Neonicotinoid pesticides I wonder if we’ll see a reduction in the acreage of oil seed rape. If so, will pollen beetles, which also like oil seed rape, migrate in greater numbers to sweet peas this summer until a more balanced ecosystem is established?

    Matt I have experienced pollen beetles for many, many seasons. By late July/August as the sweet pea stems diminish in length I pick fewer for the house so, if there is a diminution in pollen beetle numbers then, I cannot say I have noticed it.

    You’re more advanced in your growing than me. I only have 5 or 6 stems in bloom.
  • GrajeanGrajean Posts: 350
    I posted about these beetles yesterday-no-one answered! I have just read that a  yellow bucket half-full of water placed near the sweet peas will attract the beetles and they will drown. I also tried the dark shed method but table covered with beetles after bringing them indoors after a few hours.
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