The Q&A Archives: Hybiscus pests

Question: I just moved my 3-year-old hybiscus plant indors for the winter and i have noticed little black bugs that are multiplying on the buds of the shrub. Some do hide on the leaves leaving black spots. I have not had this problem previous years. I tried to break off effected buds and spray remaining with soapy water. It seemed to work for a while but it's coming back. Please help

Answer: Based on your description I think you may have seen aphids. These can be controlled with commercially formulated insecticidal soap treatments but you must repeat the sprays to catch subsequent generations of the pest -- soaps do not have a residual effect so you must actually contact the pest with the spray. When you spray, be sure to contact all parts of the plant including the undersides of the leaves and the stems. Read and carefully follow all of the label directions for best results.

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