Small black bugs on Pinon Pine needles - Knowledgebase Question

Rio Rancho, Ne
Avatar for boxcarduane
Question by boxcarduane
March 22, 2010
I noticed areas of my Pinon Pines turning brown and at a closer look I found infestation of very small black bugs. At least I think they are bugs - so small I can't tell, but they are turning individual needles brown. They can be scraped off with a finger nail and are moist when crushed. Garden insect spray has been ineffective. Can you recommend a treatment?


Answer from NGA
March 22, 2010
I can't tell from your description whether you are dealing with spider mites or with Pinyon Needle Scale. Either will turn the needles brown and both will exude moisture when crushed. I'd strongly suggest collecting a few of the affected needles and taking or mailing them to your local cooperative extension office for microscopic exam and positive identification. Helpful folks there can suggest control treatments. Contact New Mexico State University, Sandoval County Extension Office, 811 Camino del Pueblo (Physical), PO Box 400 (Mailing), Bernalillo, NM 87004
Phone: 505-867-2582 or 1-800-678-1802. Best wishes with your tree!

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