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May 21, 2020 12:44 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: James
North Louisiana (Zone 8b)
Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Growing under artificial light Ferns Garden Photography
Region: Louisiana Region: Gulf Coast Enjoys or suffers hot summers Critters Allowed Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Container Gardener
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The spots, and what specificaly causes the spots is why I have decided to post - I am not looking for a cause, cure or treatment -
Others should be aware that this can happen to their plants if left outdoors

Opuntia spp. (?? Gulf Coast Prickly Pear - Opuntia anahuacensis ??) - This cactus has been potted for over 25 years, in a 12" terra-cotta pot - and - sitting on my covered porch -
No rainfall hits this plant - and is protected from Northern or Eastern winds - around noon, it gets part sun, then full sun slightly later in the day until sunset -
In the summer it gets watered (about) every 5 -7 days

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- The Problem & Cause -

This problem began roughly 8 years ago ...interestingly, at about the same time honey bees were in decline and found to be infected with viruses & mites

The tiny spots begin as moist "mud drops" or "mud splatter" carried in by either Mud Dauber or Potter Wasps... this is actually what the wasps drop as they fly in to build their nest.....
when dry, the mud sometimes "flakes off ...or washes off at the next watering -

The spotting "grows" outward concentrically until the spots "grow" together -

I am hesitant to spray for, or remove the wasps mud structures because they are a valuable benificial species
(hunting spiders & caterpillars)

- The Cure or Treatment -

If this happens to you ...Remove the pad or section of plant where it is occuring - before it kills the entire plant

More information:

Mud dauber

Potter Wasp

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May 21, 2020 9:07 PM CST
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers
Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2
Very interesting and informative!

Thank You!
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