Meet the African geranium or butterfly drill and how to fight it

The Cacireus marshalli , commonly called butterfly geranium, geranium drill or African butterfly, a small insect is usually invade these plants, generally in periods of excessive heat and irrigation. It develops rapidly, so it is very harmful and, therefore, must be fought in time.

The geranium butterfly has a brownish brownish color and is approximately two centimeters long. It has its origin in the African continent and has arrived on the island of Mallorca in 1980, approximately, by means of a cuttings or an infested pot. From there it has expanded throughout the Iberian Peninsula.

How does the geranium drill evolve?


The geranium drill cycle begins with the arrival of the highest temperatures at 20 ° C. The development of the same begins with the laying of eggs from which the hairy caterpillars will come out, light green that will become darker as they grow.

These feed on the buds and when there are no more, they penetrate the stem and devour it completely. This process is what leaves the geranium without its sap , weakening the plant until its death.

Chrysalis are also hairy like caterpillars and can vary in color, from green to dark brown, which is when they become adult butterflies that are two centimeters wide in wings.

Symptoms and prevention mode

Although in its place of origin, the African continent, there are natural predators that stop the drilling of the geranium  and do not create a plague, in Europe no one has been detected that can slow its progress and, therefore, has managed to spread rapidly .

In our homemade garden we will know that the plant is being infected if its appearance is bad, that is, if it does not bloom, if the flower buds darken and if the stems are damaged and have dry parts.

When the geraniums have been affected by this fly, do not despair, as the first step will be to cut the affected stems to prevent the caterpillar from progressing. Then, you will have to remove all insects and add a specific insecticide by spraying the plant every two weeks.

One 100% effective is the Bayer Garden Calypso AL Polyvalent Insecticide, which helps keep your geranium protected for a month . If the pest is very potent, then throw the plant in order not to affect others.

It is necessary that you do not lower your arms and insist a lot for months to keep the plague at bay. If you perceive that there is a large number of butterflies fluttering around your geranium, do weekly treatments.

You may also be interested in:  Fight the African fly, also called the African butterfly or geranium butterfly

Tips when buying geraniums

As it is a rather complicated pest to fight because the caterpillar is hiding inside the stem and the insecticides fail to reach it well and fight it, it is important that you keep these tips in mind before buying a geranium .

When you go to a garden center, inspect the geraniums very well because they can be infected. Look closely at the stems, leaves and buds, and if you are going to make cuttings, you just have to be sure that they are not infested.

Last but not least, so that your plant remains vigorous, add fertilizer and good watering, but not in excess, since abundant watering can cause your plant to fill with these butterflies.

What do you think of this information about the geranium drill ? Remember that it affects geraniums and the genus pelargonium.

by Abdullah Sam
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