Ask a Question forum: bugs attacking blueberry bushes

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Name: Ian
(Zone 4b)
idn
Aug 30, 2016 12:13 PM CST
does anyone know what is attacking the blueberry bushes, there appear to be quite a few flying insects .. looks a bit like large ants. The bushes appear to have black fungus on leaves near the centre of the bush.
Any help will be appreciated.. located in NE Ontario
Thumb of 2016-08-30/idn/d0ab67


Thumb of 2016-08-30/idn/92e73c


Thumb of 2016-08-30/idn/29d14b

here is more info as requested.. better quality images, there appears to be 3 different types of insects attacking the bushes
1) Mold?
Thumb of 2016-08-30/idn/03a198

2) multicolored bug (not as many of these seen)

Thumb of 2016-08-30/idn/e1ebbd

3) large black flying insect (quite a few of these)


Thumb of 2016-08-30/idn/544ccc

4) medium sized brown flying insect

Thumb of 2016-08-30/idn/e10682

[Last edited by idn - Aug 30, 2016 2:21 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1257716 (1)
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Aug 30, 2016 1:35 PM CST
Welcome to NGA, @idn !

I'm not a blueberry expert by any means, but my feeling is that the insects you're seeing and the black spots on the leaves are 2 separate issues. Or maybe "non-issues." I could only wish my blueberry plants looked as good as yours do! Smiling

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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 30, 2016 1:40 PM CST
Welcome!

The black stuff could be sooty mold. That would mean there are insects like aphids or others that secrete "honeydew", maybe from a tree overhead if not on the blueberries themselves. I'm not sure both pictured insects are the same, or that they're a problem. Is it possible to get a sharper picture of one? Edited to add for clarity, neither insect looks like one that would produce honeydew.
[Last edited by sooby - Aug 30, 2016 1:41 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Aug 30, 2016 1:50 PM CST
Welcome! to NGA

You do have ants and that black stuff could be sooty mold. It grows on the excretions of sucking insects. The ants are attracted to the sooty mold. Some flying sucky-bugs could be at the heart of the whole problem.

But, the sucky-bugs would also be causing damage to the leaves and I don't see any. It doesn't look like powdery mildew either. Are you having a wet, warm and humid summer?

Besides seeing ants, black stuff and something flying around, do you see any damage to your plant?

Maybe it just needs a good hosing off.
Name: Rick R.
near Minneapolis, MN zone 4a
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Leftwood
Aug 30, 2016 4:30 PM CST
I would try the hosing off first, also.

But, your plant doesn't look like a blueberry plant, as in blueberry pie. It has opposite leaves, and a blueberry has alternate leaf arrangement. The buds at the stems and surrounding growth look like a Lonicera species. Could it be a Honeyberry(Lonicera caerulea) that has blue (colored) berries?
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Aug 30, 2016 6:36 PM CST
Good catch, Rick! Thumbs up
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
Aug 30, 2016 6:42 PM CST
I agree Rick
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Aug 31, 2016 2:06 PM CST
May I add that just because you see bugs on your plant doesn't mean they are "attacking" the plant. They may be eating whatever is causing the honeydew secretions that are also causing the sooty mold. That is, they might be beneficial insects. Or they are eating the honeydew. So please don't break out some chemical insecticide, especially on plants that produce something you want to eat.

I'll jump on the bandwagon to say - give those plants a thorough hosing off, first to see if that solves the problem. Be sure to direct the spray up under the leaves to dislodge the smart ones that shelter underneath there.

It will also help us a lot to ID your various bugs if you could please tell us where you are? Fill in your personal profile - the little person icon in the blue sidebar at left - to include your city/state/country. Just a zone doesn't tell us nearly enough.
Elaine

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Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Aug 31, 2016 2:34 PM CST
dyzzypyxxy said:
It will also help us a lot to ID your various bugs if you could please tell us where you are? Fill in your personal profile - the little person icon in the blue sidebar at left - to include your city/state/country. Just a zone doesn't tell us nearly enough.


NE Ontario (see just above picture) - much easier if it's in profile though. That would probably be colder than zone 4 where I am.

Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
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Weedwhacker
Aug 31, 2016 7:14 PM CST
Sue, you are so observant!! I didn't notice the NE Ontario caption, either... perhaps those are "Saskatoon Blueberries" (Amelanchier) ?
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Name: Ian
(Zone 4b)
idn
Aug 31, 2016 9:02 PM CST
Hello everyone, thanks for all your great suggestions! Rick was correct, the plants are blue-berried honeysuckle (Lonicera kamtchatica "Wojtek "). Being a newbie gardener, I thought they were the same as a blueberry bush so my apologies to all.
The bushes do not appear to have much leaf damage, mainly mold so I will try the hosing off method as suggested.
My zone is 5a. Thank You!

Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
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sooby
Sep 1, 2016 3:22 AM CST
IDN, is 5a your zone on the Canadian system or USDA? I'm in Eastern Ontario and my zone is 4a USDA and either 4 or 5 on the Canadian system. I thought you would be at least the same or colder than that?

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