The Q&A Archives: Bugs in Pink Jasmine

Question: I have little black flying bugs that live in my jasmine. I've tried natural pest control suc as praying mantis and ladybugs but they won't go away. How do I make them disappear?

Answer: You are on the right path with the natural controls. Experts say that less than 5 percent of all insect species are true pests that do significant harm. If plants aren't in danger, it's better to let Mother Nature strike a balance. This might take some time, but it will happen. Insects are an essential part of the food chain. They make up half the diet for hummingbirds; one tiny hummer can consume 2000 insects per day! Spraying chemicals is dangerous for these pretty little birds.

Why do you want the bugs to disappear? Are they doing any damage? If so, what kind, i.e., are they chewing holes in the plant? Without knowing exactly what type of insect, I can't recommend a solution. However, if you must control them, start with the simplest method (forceful spray of water daily) and work up from there, such as to a soapy water spray. Finally, insects are highly dependent on temperature. When the weather changes (whether from hot to cold or cold to hot), their populations drop, so no control is needed. Good luck!

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