Ask a Question forum: Dwarf butterfly Japanese maple infestation?

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Rand0723
Feb 11, 2017 1:18 PM CST
I live in Seattle, so it's a humid climate and wet winter so far. I noticed tiny black beetles(?) on all where the leaf buds come in (pic attached). Does anyone know what this is? Is it going to hurt the tree and if so, what can I do to get rid of it? I just got my JM last summer and don't want to lose it!!
Thumb of 2017-02-11/Rand0723/f2154c
Thumb of 2017-02-11/Rand0723/8e6756


Thumb of 2017-02-11/Rand0723/14d316

[Last edited by Rand0723 - Feb 11, 2017 5:56 PM (+)]
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Name: greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
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greene
Feb 11, 2017 5:46 PM CST
I'm sorry, but even when I attempt to enlarge the photos, they are not clear enough for me to make out what you are showing. Can you try again to take photos?

If necessary, use a magnifying glass or jewelers loop to show the insects more clearly. I had been having trouble getting close-up photos and my genius son-in-law Whistling suggested I try this:
https://garden.org/ideas/view/...
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~"Leaf of Faith"

Rand0723
Feb 11, 2017 5:58 PM CST
Sorry, I think the resolution degrades through the upload. I posted a zoomed in version. I hope that works for you! They look like teeny tiny black beetles but don't visibly move. They are clumping at/in the buds.

I think they might be some sort of mite? I read that you can use horticulture oil during the dormant season, but to be cautious JM can be sensitive.
[Last edited by Rand0723 - Feb 11, 2017 6:01 PM (+)]
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana, ca
Sunset zone 22, USDA zone 10 A.
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ctcarol
Feb 11, 2017 7:06 PM CST
I doubt those are mites. Have you tried scraping one off with a fingernail? They may not be bugs at all , but part of the growth.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
Feb 11, 2017 7:21 PM CST
Welcome!

Can you scrape some off onto a piece of plain white paper and try another close-up? That will make the camera focus more on whatever it is and also show us its outline.

Rand0723
Feb 12, 2017 12:22 AM CST
I will get a closer pic in the daylight tmmr. After reading up and seeing other images online, I am thinking it's black aphid eggs. I scraped some off earlier today and the texture makes sense for an insect egg.
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Feb 12, 2017 6:36 AM CST
You may be right, they do kind of look like this:

https://www.google.ca/search?q...:

Rand0723
Feb 12, 2017 10:35 AM CST
Yes, that's it! I don't have a magnifying glass *Blush* I purchased some horticulture and dormant oil (all seasons) and I was going to test a small area. They are mostly embedded in the bud crevices so I feel like I will damage the leaf by trying to dig them out. I don't think water will knock them out either.
Name: Elaine
Sarasota, Fl
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 12, 2017 7:43 PM CST
If they are aphids, a spray with your hose nozzle set on "mist" and held close to the bugs should get them. I think that's the safest way to get rid of them, if your Japanese Maple might be sensitive to the oil spray. It's not worth chancing damage.

At least try the water spray first. Always go for the least toxic or damaging solution first, and work up to the strong stuff later.
Elaine

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