Pests of Narcissus
Note Number: AG0186
Published: June 2000
Narcissus species suffer from virus diseases that are transmitted by aphids. Aphids are slow moving, plump-bodied insects. The colour varies with the species and green, yellow, pink, brown and black forms occur. Bulbs may be attacked by bulb mite and the lesser bulb fly. Very few chemicals are registered specifically for use against aphids on narcissus, but they may have a general registration covering use on ornamentals. It is the grower's responsibility to check that any chemicals used are registered for the purpose.
Bulb mite (Rhizoglyphus echinopus)
This slow-moving mite is about 0.5 mm long, globular, and yellow-white with brownish legs. Infested bulbs produce stunted plants with yellow and distorted leaves. Early infestations are found around the basal plate of the bulb. Roots are destroyed first and bulb scales and stems are attacked later. Bulbs can be completely destroyed by the combined action of the mites and micro organisms that
invade the damaged bulbs. Hot water treatment will kill the mites but good sanitation is very important when digging up or planting out bulbs.
Lesser bulb fly (Eumerus tuberculatus)
The adult flies are about 8 mm long, black, with three pairs of white crescent-shaped marks on the body and white lines on the thorax. They lay their eggs on damaged bulbs near the neck, in folds of the coat or on the ground near the bulb. The maggots are a yellowish color and about 8 mm long when fully grown. They are commonly found in the neck of the bulb even if the whole bulb is rotted. This pest usually attacks the bulbs when the foliage dies down at the end of the season. Frequency of attack can be reduced by filling the holes left by the dead leaves with soil. Bulbs that produce grass-like foliage and poor flowers should be inspected for lesser bulb fly.
Contact/Services available from DPI
For effective pest and disease control, correct diagnosis is essential. A commercial diagnostic service is available at the DPI, Knoxfield.
For further information, contact the Diagnostic Service. ph: (03) 9210-9222 or fax (03) 9800 3521.
Contact the Customer Service Centre of the Department of Primary Industries, Victoria at 136 186
For information relating to the safe and appropriate use of chemicals, including management of chemical residues and licensing requirements, call the DPI Customer Service Centre of 138 186 and ask to speak to your local chemical standards officer or visit www.dpi.vic.gov.au/chemicalstandards.
This Agnote was developed by David Williams, Biosciences Research Victoria, June 2000.
It was reviewed by Harold Adem, Farm Services Victoria, February 2010.
Published and Authorised by:
Department of Environment and Primary Industries
1 Spring Street
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