Friday, January 6, 2012

Insect Signs and Symptoms

In order to successfully combat insects, and other pests, the correct identification must be made.  Often we can see the actual pest that is chewing on our favorite flowers.  But many times all that is seen is the damage - the sign that someone or something was there.  The following is a list of pest symptoms or signs with the corresponding probable cause.
·        Chewed leaves or blossoms  -  caterpillars, beetles, sawflies, snails, slugs.
·        Tunneling in the leaf – leafminers.  This insect actually feeds on leaf tissue as it meanders between the upper and lower layers of the leaf.
·        Stippled, bleached or yellowed leaves – leafhoppers, aphids, lace bugs, phyllids, mites
·        Distortion (twisting, cupping, swelling) of plant parts – thrips, aphids, eriophyid mites, bud mites, psyllids, gallmakers, true bugs.
·        Dieback of plant parts – borers, scales, tip miners, twig borers.
·        Presence of excrement – lace bugs, plant bugs, thrips, caterpillars.
·        Sooty mold – aphids, soft scales, whiteflies.
·        Froth – spittlebugs.
·        Cast skins – aphids.
·        Waxy, white material – aphids, mealybugs, adelgids, whiteflies.
·        Pitch tubes – pitch moths, clear winged moths, boring insects.