Plant Pests

/Plant Pests


We think the raised bumps may be psyllids, often referred to as plant lice. Suggest you take your photo or a few of the problem leaves to your local garden center for confirmation. If they are psyllids, they suck the nutrients out of the foliage and stems, but if the infestation is not too extensive, most horticulturists recommend leaving it alone. However, if the infestation is severe, spray with an organic control effective against chewing insects such as Spinosad with a residual of 7-10 days. Spray in the early evening when bees have returned to their hives. Once the spray on the plants has dried it is completely safe for beneficial insects. Another option is to spray with a horticultural oil. The oil will act as a suffocant.

By | 2016-04-11T06:25:42-07:00 April 11th, 2016|Plant Pests|0 Comments

Flea Beetle On Tomato

You are probaly correct, the damage looks alot like flea beetle damage. If you haven't seen the insects it is possible its something else causing this, so we recommend inspecting your plants regularly and at differnt times of the day, as some pests are nocturnal feeders (or early/late in the day). Keep the plant healthy with proper watering, fertilizing as necessary (especially at flowering and fruit set), and good air circulation in/around the plant. If you haven't staked/caged the plant yet, we recommend you do that now to avoid causing damage later on that could expose the plant to disease and insect damage thru wounding. Here's a link about flea beetle.

By | 2016-04-11T05:53:03-07:00 April 11th, 2016|Plant Pests|1 Comment

Get New Ones

We recommend you don't plant these plants. Hope we responded in time! We can't say for certain what's causing these spots on the tomato leaves, but whatever it is you probably don't want it in your garden, or at the very least the plants are already suffering from a nutrient deficiency and you don't want to start out that way. This could be insects feeding on the underside of the leaves and causing the yellow spotting on the top, and you might be able to get rid of them, but depending on the insect it could be a constant battle, or they might spread disease while feeding. If its a disease, and there are several that start out causing yellow spots, you'll be trying to control it and stop its spread thru the growing season.

By | 2016-04-10T20:44:27-07:00 April 10th, 2016|Plant Pests|0 Comments

Scale Infestation

This appears to be scale, a sap sucking insect that attaches itself to the leaves and stems. Wiping them off with a damp cloth can be effective if caught early. However, your infestation is quite severe. If you wish to undertake chemical control, spray the entire plant (especially the underside of the leaves) with a product labeled for scale control. Or try a systemic (Bayer 3-in-1 Advanced Insect Disease & Mite Control is one example). You should also prune off and dispose of the most heavily infested parts of the plant to physically remove as many insects as possible. This looks like a Fatsia, which is quite prone to scale. Here is a link that you might find helpful:

By | 2016-04-10T16:27:15-07:00 April 10th, 2016|Plant Pests|0 Comments

Scale On Cactus

The browning of the trunk in and of itself is not a problem but rather something that all cacti tend to do as they get older. they develop a corky, barky type base. However on the left side of the plant from what I can see in the photo are small round things. This looks like scale, a sucking insect. It may have added to the barkiness of the plant. They are difficult to get rid of but try a mix of 50/50 water and rubbing alcohol and a few drops of dish washing soap in a hand held spray bottle. Spray the affected are well and use a soft brush or sponge to gently rub down the area. This should remove the existing scale. You may need to repeat every now and then if they show up. Spray the affected area down with regular water after treating.

By | 2016-04-10T14:41:55-07:00 April 10th, 2016|Plant Pests|1 Comment

Spider Mites

The most likely cause of damage that looks like this on many plants is spider mites. They are sucking insects and cause this white mottled stippling on foliage when a plant is typically stressed. They are very hard to see, but the underside of infested foliage often looks dusty, sticky, and vaguely web-like and dirty. You can read more about spider mites and how to control them here: You can also go to your local garden center for confirmation of its identity and ask for an organic or other recommended control for spider mites that is appropriate for your plant and then use the product according to directions. Do not use an insecticide as this would not be effective. You will need a product formulated with a miticide if it is mites.

By | 2016-04-10T10:59:22-07:00 April 10th, 2016|Plant Pests|0 Comments

Caterpillar Or Weevil

This damage looks like caterpillar feeding, or possibly a leaf eating beetle. Its impossible to say which species without seeing the organism. We recommend you look for caterpillar frass (little black droppings) underneath the damaged leaves, and also look for the caterpillar(s) itself, or some kind of cacoon on the underside of all the leaves. If you don't find any of those, it could be a beetle or a weevil. These insects may feed and then move on, or they may lay eggs on the leaves or in the soil around the plant. For caterpillars that are present you can either pick them off (including the cacoons) and dispose of them or use a Bt (Bacilius thuringiensis) product if they are numerous. If you find beetles or their eggs, send us another photo and we'll look at it again.

By | 2016-04-10T10:24:52-07:00 April 10th, 2016|Plant Pests|0 Comments

Cosmos Damage

It's pretty hard to tell at this stage, what might have happened to the plant as a seedling. We have more questions than answers. Sorry!

Was it crowded or too close to other plants? Is there chewing damage or rot on the stem? We can't see that from this photo. The distortion could be caused by application of some fertilizers/insecticides when the plant was young. Maybe there was some "drift" from a product being applied? Thrips and leafhoppers can be problematic, but so can viruses.

Did it bloom? How about other cosmos in the garden? In spite of it's contorted stem, the rest of it looks pretty decent.

If you have some of these answers and want to send another photo of the gnarled/twisted area, please write back.

Thanks so much.

By | 2016-04-09T22:41:50-07:00 April 9th, 2016|Plant Pests|0 Comments


Based on the numbers, congregation, and color of them, (though they do come in many colors including red, black and brown) these are Aphids. These small sap-sucking insects reproduce very rapidly. You will note larger and smaller ones. The larger ones are the females. They are born pregnant as are all their daughters. Aphids may be controlled with hard water sprays to knock them off, and insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils. We've included a web link with more info to help you control the Aphids (and any ants). Use caution and always follow the label directions when using any kind of pesticidal product.
(scroll down to the section on Trees and Shrubs for control of Ants on plants)

By | 2016-04-09T22:07:23-07:00 April 9th, 2016|Plant Pests|0 Comments

Chewing Insect

The problem may be chewing insects rather than sucking insects. Perhaps some type of beetle or caterpillar? Look to see if you see any sign of insects. If there are small black dots, these might be excretions for the insects. You can spray with an organic control effective against chewing insects such as Bt or Spinosad. Once the leaves and flowers are damaged, they will not recover but try to control future infestation. Bt is a contact insecticide and Spinosad has a 7-10 day residual. Spray Spinosad in the early evening after the bees have returned to their hives. Once the spray has dried on the plant it is safe for beneficials. Suggest you show your photo or perhaps capture a few in a bottle as well as snip off a damaged frond for a local garden center to confirm their identity.

By | 2016-04-09T16:42:50-07:00 April 9th, 2016|Plant Pests|0 Comments