How To: Identify aphids or whiteflies on your ash tree

Identify aphids or whiteflies on your ash tree

County expert John White determines how to solve some pesky plant problems for the area. The first problem - cutter bees on Crepe Myrtle - is an obvious one, with the deep curved "bites" showing on most of the leaves. He suggests using an insecticide but then points out the signs of a second problem - beetle damage. Crepe Myrtle is prone to beetle infestations and he advises to get out a flashlight and look for them at night when they are at their worst. A problem with heat scorching on Euonymus is easily solved - move the plant to a shadier spot or get rid of it. Euonymus can not tolerate long hours in the direct sun. The Spanish Broom sample is examined next and John points out the telltale signs of caterpillar damage. The 1" to 1.5" pests go after new growth and it must be treated several times to get good results, especially if you are using the safer biological products. The final plant sample, an ash cutting, is infested with aphids and white flies. John turns over the leaves and the insects are easily seen and identified. The mites hit the flowers in spring, then lay their eggs and take over a whole tree if not caught early. A gardener can use regular insecticides or biological types of spray. If the problem is not identified or removed by late in the fall, he suggests waiting and let the plant winter, hopefully to kill of much of the infestation. Another suggestion was to apply dormant oil to the entire tree once 75% of the leaves have died and fallen as this usually helps to suffocate any living pests. In the spring, use insecticides to clear up any renewed insect presence before they multiply.

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