habiscus bugs - Knowledgebase Question

Valrico, Fl
Avatar for eabel1
Question by eabel1
May 3, 2010
I am new to gardening but bought a few beautiful habiscus from home depot a few weeks ago. Today I noticed that all of the buds and surrounding leaves are covered in little white lines (not sure if these are bugs or some sort of bug cocoons but they are super tiny) also some of the stems have dark black tiny bugs. What should I do?

Answer from NGA
May 3, 2010
If it looks like tiny spider webs and the insects you see look like tiny spiders, I'd bet the plant has spidermites. These little insects can cause the leaves to take on a mottled appearance so you'll want to treat the hibiscus with a product to control them. Insecticidal soap works well against these pests but you'll have to spray your plants thoroughly with the product, including the stems and the undersides of the leaves. Repeat applications may be necessary. I'd spray the plant, wait about 10 minutes then throughly hose it off to remove the dead insects and eggs and any residue from the soap spray. Then hose your plant off every 3-4 days to discourage new spidermite insects. It will take a couple of weeks of this treatment to rid your plant of these hitchhikers. Best wishes with your new hibiscus!

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