Sunflowers and pests

(Question)

I have purchased sunflower bouquets at farmers markets and placed them in vases in my kitchen and office. I have then noticed small insects near the flower heads. Is this common and can something be done? We would like to use sunflowers as table bouquets at a fall wedding but don’t want to bring bugs into the hall.
Thank You

(Answer)

Farmer’s markets are wonderful places, aren’t they? Unfortunately, the variety of fruit, veggies and flowers makes them as attractive to insects as they are to people.  To help prevent them from coming into your home or office, check  for insects before you purchase the flowers, although this will not guarantee the flowers are pest free. When you bring the flowers into the house, you may want to isolate them first in an enclosed area such as a porch for a few hours. If pests are found, wash them off with a blast of water. Finally, an indoor insecticidal soap can be used.

The safest approach to purchasing flowers for a wedding is to buy them from a reputable florist who has a vested interest in making sure the wedding bouquets and centrepieces are pest free and fresh.