The Q&A Archives: Chitalpa - pest problem

Question: There is some kind of black pest that has infested my newly purchased Chitalpa tree. They look like tiny black spots and are mostly settling in on the underside of the leaves near the stem and around the tiny bulb clusters that will become the flowers. They might be called scale, but I am not sure. How can I get rid of them?

Answer: If the pests are on the undersides of the leaves and the flower clusters, I think you're dealing with black bean aphids. These tiny little insects will enlarge as they grow. Before treating the problem, try looking at the little fellas with a magnifying glass. Scales are hard and round; aphids are soft and somewhat elongated. Either can be sprayed off with plain water from the hose. Aphids can be eliminated with Insecticidal Soap. Scales can be pried off with your fingernails.

Best wishes with your new tree!

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