The Q&A Archives: identify condition

Question: I have 6 two year old monterey bay brush cherry ( eugenia myrtifolia ) which this year are heavily infested by which I have been told is a type of aphid. The leaves have a blistered appearance on the front and a tiny green insect on the back surface . Can you identify this condition and reccomend a solution.

Answer: The red blisters are called galls and can be caused by a fungal disease or by the feeding of tiny little insects called mites. Eugenia is more susceptible to mite damage than to fungal diseases. The swollen and discolored plant tissues are a response to chemicals injected while the mites were feeding. You can apply a miticide if the mites are actively feeding. It's possible that these pests have already left the area and all that remains is evidence of their feeding. If so, the best control strategy is to remove the damaged plant parts and dispose of them. Prune the affected plant to remove the damaged growth and periodically check your other shrubs to make sure they're not affected. Best wishes with your garden!

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