Ask a Question forum: Plant pest

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perocon
Jan 31, 2016 8:25 AM CST
I just noticed this morning that my Blue Sennetti plant was dying and had what looks like eggs? all over the leaf. The plant was outside on my deck (along with other plants) all summer and fall and I brought all of them in when the cold weather started. All are doing well (including this one which looked pretty good about a week ago) and I see no evidence of these pests on my other plants (geraniums, and mint). Can anyone tell me what this is? thanks for any help!
Thumb of 2016-01-31/perocon/e7301e

Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee
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plantcollector
Jan 31, 2016 11:19 AM CST
From what I could tell through your picture it looks like they could be aphids if it is aphids some insecticidal soap should do the trick just keep an eye on it and keep reapplying as necessary.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 31, 2016 1:14 PM CST
Yes, they look like aphids. You can wash them off with warm soapy water too. Just make sure the aphids go down the drain or they will crawl right back up onto your plant.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
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tarev
Jan 31, 2016 1:17 PM CST
I agree with both.

perocon
Jan 31, 2016 7:01 PM CST
Thank-you so much for the responses. That is what I thought also. Unfortunately I had seen the exact same thing in our greenhouses this fall. Arghgh!! And from what I've read it's exacerbated by the fact that we also have ants. We have our work cut out for us. Thanks again everyone.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
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plantmanager
Jan 31, 2016 7:04 PM CST
I'm battling aphids in my greenhouse right now. I sprayed them off and used soapy water on them. They still were around. Now I have sticky strips meant to catch whiteflies or fungas gnats, and it's catching lots of aphids. Seems like a never ending battle!
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Name: Heath
sevierville TN (Zone 7a)
Beekeeper Houseplants Region: Tennessee
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plantcollector
Jan 31, 2016 7:28 PM CST
I don't know how true it is but I've heard that they are born pregnant and I can almost believe it Thumbs down
Name: Gita Veskimets
Baltimore or Nottingham MD-212 (Zone 7a)
Life is "mind over matter". If I d
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gitagal
Jan 31, 2016 8:50 PM CST
perocon

Any time you have sucking insects on your plants you may find ants as well.
Scale.Mealy Bug, Spider Mites, Whiteflies etc. are all sucking insects.
Plant juices contain sugars--and the undigested sugars they suck out are excreted by the insects
and drip down on lower leaves, the table the plants are on, and even the floor below forming a sticky surface.
This is called "honeydew" excreted by the insects. Ants are attracted to this honeydew--that is why you are seeing them.

f not attended to--this "honeydew" can start to "age" and it forms a black soot over the lower leaves of your plant.

Keep a sharp eye out for any stickiness on your plant's leaves. A first sign that you have sucking insects
working on your plants.
A good spraying with soap (Not detergent) and water plus a bit of rubbing alcohol--or just Horticultural Soap--should help.
Repeat as needed...every 7-10 days.

Good luck! Gita
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jan 31, 2016 10:03 PM CST
Karen,

Add frogs. I'm serious. I accidently brought Pacific tree frogs from my greenhouse in California when we moved a couple years ago. I had 3 but only one was croaking so I assume one male and two females. They laid eggs. I brought some more eggs from California last spring for genetic diversity. Tree frogs eat aphids and ants and anything else they can get their little mouths around, even crickets. They do not eat mealy bugs. Sad

I never see them unless I accidently wash one out of a pot and they only croak in the spring when looking for love. I don't know how many are in there but the insect problem is a non-problem so a few at least. I suspect some go out the windows in the summer but as Pacific tree frogs live in Reno also, I don't worry about them. They lay their eggs in saucers and the tadpoles live in the saucers until they turn into little tiny frogs. I will let you know how many croakers are out there in March.

This guy was sitting on the wall of my house (inside the greenhouse) in November.

Daisy


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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Jan 31, 2016 10:15 PM CST
During better weather outdoors, I put some plants as inbetweeners which aphids hate and will never dare to cross..geraniums. Or I have one plant as my sacrificial plant, my tropical milkweed which attracts aphids like magnets..better that than my other plants. I do try to spray insecticidal soap or do the alcohol swab to my tropical milkweed, but it is always a never ending battle, so I just let them have their way. Eventually cool weather comes and they are gone till next season.

perocon
Feb 1, 2016 4:57 AM CST
Just to put this into perspective- We have two greenhouses in which we plant right into the ground. Season extenders is what we use them for really. We also have chickens which are housed in one of the greenhouses when the weather gets cold. I noticed this problem that some of you are describing, with the sooty plants and the stickiness last summer in BOTH greenhouses but am only now putting it all together. Didn't know what I was looking at. Now, I do believe we have a big aphid, and ant problem. I can only hope that the chickens will take care of the problem in the one location. And from what I have read I will have to be on guard 24/7 for ants and really be agressive. Take care of that problem first, then tackle the aphids. We grow organically, so that adds another piece to think about. Well, at least I have a few more weeks of winter to think about how to proceed. Tarev, that is interesting about the plants as barriers, because the other plants I had next to the Sennetti were geraniums and none of those looks to be affected. Still can't figure out how the aphids got all over this plant as it has never been in the greenhouse. <le sigh> Thanks all!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Feb 1, 2016 10:13 AM CST
I think the aphids hate the scent or oil in the geraniums, so they don't attack it.
Name: Karen
NM , AZ (Zone 7b)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents Adeniums Garden Art
Plumerias Hibiscus Houseplants Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Dog Lover Cat Lover
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plantmanager
Feb 1, 2016 11:37 AM CST
That is interesting to know about the geraniums, Tarev. I will have to move some of my geraniums around. I wish we had frogs, but I haven't seen any. Maybe I can buy them? I'll have to look.

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