Bugs Destroyed My Trees And Shrubs This Summer, Now What?
September 7, 2018
As a tropical state, we in Florida pride ourselves on our exotic plants. A lot of the trees and shrubs that grow here cannot be found anywhere in the northern states. Along with the beauty, however, comes a number of harmful warm-weather pests—including weevils, aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs. Each of these pests can cause damage to your plants. Here’s how you can identify when your plants are being targeted.
These small, white and gray beetles are commonly found in southern and central Florida, but are becoming more common across the entire state. Adult weevils are not the main threat, instead, it is the larvae that cause most of the environmental damage. Fully grown weevils bore holes in plants in order for females to lay eggs. Once those eggs have hatched into larvae, the larvae feed on the plant material surrounding them, often impacting the plant severely. When weevil eggs are laid in palms, the hatched weevil larvae will eat their way to the crown of the palm, which may kill the entire tree due to its growth point being destroyed. Some damages to look for in palms and other plants include small notches in the leaves, often on the oldest parts of the plant. These notches are about ¼ of an inch wide, and if left unchecked, will damage large portions of your trees and shrubbery.
Aphids, Whiteflies, and Mealybugs
Each of these soft-bodied insects uses specialized mouthparts to suck the juices out of your plants, which can cause severe damage to your trees and shrubs. Some of the common signs to look for are leaves that are wilting or yellowed, curling leaves, honeydew on the surface of leaves, and plants with fungal diseases forming.
Aphids, whiteflies, and mealybugs all like to hide on the underside of the leaves they feed on, which can make them hard to spot when you’re not looking for them. Check the bottoms of your plants’ leaves for any signs that one of these pests have been there. Whiteflies, being the only universally winged insect, will leave in a swarm if the leaf they were feeding on is disturbed, while aphids and mealybugs will try and find a new leaf to hide under.
A sugary substance called honeydew is produced as waste by each of these insects, and this sticky coating often attracts other insects to the damaged plant. If left on its own, honeydew can also cause fungal diseases to form on the leaves of your plants, further weakening the already damaged areas.
Whiteflies and aphids also transmit diseases between plants, often carrying juices from a diseased tree to a healthy one, which can cause the damages to your plants to be increasingly widespread.
How We Can Help
Here at Nozzle Nolen Pest Solutions, we understand that insects are a significant problem. The climate here in Florida makes these insects a year-round pest, which can greatly damage your beautiful plant life. With our tree and shrub care, we will help prevent these insects from feasting on your ornamentals by treating all your at-risk plants with root injections. Nothing beats Nozzle Nolen’s tree and shrub care because no one cares as much as we do. Call us today to get your free quote today.
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