Friday, August 28, 2015

Mini 'beetles' on leaves?

I came across these at the Dinosaur Park in Ogden. Thank you Trugreen, now I can't help but look at trees and try to figure out what ailes them. Even though my job was abruptly ended by another job move by my husband, I still appreciate all that I learned in that time. Being naturally curious I will continue this journey. 

My research revealed that these are called Lace Bugs.

Lace bugs are usually host-specific and can be very destructive to plants. Most feed on the undersides of leaves by piercing the epidermis and sucking the sap. The then empty cells give the leaves a bronzed or silvery appearance. Each individual usually completes its entire life cycle on the same plant, if not the same part of the plant.

Lace bugs sometimes fall out of trees, land on people and bite, which, although painful, is a minor nuisance. No medical treatment is necessary.[1]

Recommends a natural remedy:

Instead, use insecticidal soapneem oil or narrow-range oil. Spray the plant with these insecticides at two-week intervals. The damage won’t disappear, but you won’t have any new damage.

Don’t worry about losing plants because of lace bug damage. The damage is usually just cosmetic, and the plant will return next spring with fresh, new leaves. The trick is to eliminate the insect during the growing season so that it can’t overwinter on the plant and return next year.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fuzzy Balls on a Hackberry Tree

I recently came across a real mystery in the most beautiful back yard I've ever seen.
Fuzzy infestation on the underside of leaves...

Not wooly aphids, not Hackberry Gall Psyllidsnot  hackberry nipplegall maker but kinda...

Is there such a thing as a "wooly hackberry nipplegall maker"?

--more research---

I found this great article regarding treatment:


While psyllid, scale and aphid infestations are most aggressive during the spring months, the hackberry can experience continuous infestations in climates that remain moderately warm throughout the year. Since the hackberry is rarely harmed by pest infestations and is always susceptible to these visitors, treat only severe infestations. To treat the infestation, use a horticultural oil-based insecticide spray. Apply the spray only on clear, warm days when there is no rain expected for at least 24 hours and no fog in the air. Spray the chemical thoroughly onto the hackberry’s foliage, stems and bark until the tree is saturated with the chemical. If the hackberry is severely infected, reapply the insecticide spray in 14 days. Treat the hackberry once per season to control the insect population and avoid infestations. If the hackberry tree experiences sooty mold infections as a result of the infestation, treat the infestation with the same horticultural insecticide. Feel free to prune away any ailing or blackened foliage.

---more research---nothing...

I had to ask the pro's at we'll see what they have to say about the strange infestation of fuzzy balls.

Closest thing I found... LINK
Hickory gall midge Caryomyia P6280519_closeup

Weird fuzzy golf balls?  No, tiny galls on the underside of a shagbark hickory leaf.  Inside each gall is a tiny developing larvae of a fly or wasp, in this case a small fly. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Plums have a mystery bug-mystery solved!

I came across these shells of a bug on my plum tree, it looks like the whole tree has been infested. Some of the fruit had 3-4 of these things and they looked nasty. So I needed to research to see what the heck they were. They were on nearly every piece of fruit. The only good thing I could see is that they brushed right off and left only a small black mar on the fruit, which I still cut out before eating. Turns out they were ladybug shells, I found this answer on another blog:

LINK: I suspect what you're finding are the molted old skins of ladybug larvae. Lady bugs start as larvae and crawl around eating aphids and such. Then they latch on somewhere and undergo a metamorphosis. When they come out of their old skin/shell they are ladybugs and can fly away leaving their old skins behind. I often find the little dangling shells on our plums because the larvae spent a lot of time there eating aphids and chose those same spots to to their transformation.
(Thank you to: Dave Boehnlein)

What could have been done to prevent this? This tree needs to be stronger and healthier so that it does not have so many aphids-thank you ladybugs for taking care of my tree but it obviously needs some serious feeding -TruGreen does not spray fruit trees, but they can absolutely fertilize them and help them to be stronger and healthier. Next year they should be able to ward off the bad bugs and the fruit harvest will be much better.



Hi, my name is Trebeca.

I've always loved Trees and Bees. I'm starting this blog in hopes to benefit them by way of information.

How to take better care of, treat and encourage tree growth, shrub health and help beneficial insects.

I'm currently taking a certification course in Permaculture Design. Check out the link if you'd like to know more about Permaculture, it's all about earth care, people care, fair share (sharing surplus).

I just started with TruGreen this week so I thought it would be a great place to discuss the different things that I'll be coming across in the field.

What better way to learn more about trees, shrubs and healthy lawns?

I'd like to be a catalyst for change. Changing the way we look at bugs (there are good bugs) and how we manage our landscapes. I want to encourage more edible landscaping and food forests, less herbicides, pesticides and insecticides.

"I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues" ~Dr. Seuss (and me!)

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