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.


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