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Insect and Spider Identification: SOLVED: What is this insect?

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PudgyMudpies
Stockton, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 28, 2004
3:59 PM

Post #852541

Hi,
well, I got the tree ID'd now I need to know what is eating it!
This picture is not that good because I don't have a good closeup camera. But hopefully between it & my discription, someone will recognize them.
The best way to describe them is gnats with white cottony fluff on their body. They do fly, but they are only landing on the Georgia Hackberry & me. LOL
They do not appear to be juice suckers because there is no shiny sticky patches where they have been. Just tiny pin holes that I can only assume are from them since there has not been anything else on it. And if they WERE juice suckers, I am sure the tons of ants that are here would have discovered it by now.
I have been spraying every couple nights with my bug spray (water, soap & mouthwash) and they do die. I rinse the tree off in the morning before the sun hits it & in a few days they are back.
I would really appreciate knowing what this new pest in my garden is.
Thanks
Donna

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crystalspin
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 28, 2004
4:58 PM

Post #852597

I will guess wooly whitefly
http://www.crees.org/plantprotection/AubWeb/bugweb/i021.htm
http://www.countyofsb.org/agcomm/wooly.htm

HOWEVER, they are in fact juice-suckers so the damage you show on perimeter/end of the leaf would be from something else... the heat down here has brought on a surge of brown grasshoppers and green grasshoppers or enormous leaf-hoppers (?), how about up there?

AND (as you predicted) ants commonly do discover the whiteflies' honeydew and must be controlled separately. The Santa Barbara county site recommends (1) removing infested leaves (if only a few), (2) blasting the undersides of leaves with water -- some immatures will cling to leaves so you will have to repeat, and (3) keeping the ants off the trees with tanglefoot. Oh yeah, plus (4) waiting for the tiny parasitic wasps' numbers to increase to catch up with the whiteflies!

Last year I found a neat attachment for the hose called (I think) the BugBlaster. But I need to get some tanglefoot for my Moro orange which has a different whitefly.

Another site suggested making your own whitefly traps from YELLOW coldcut packages -- they already have a hole for hanging -- by putting something sticky in or on them. Apparently all whiteflies are attracted to yellow.

Good luck, -- Xtal
PudgyMudpies
Stockton, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 28, 2004
5:30 PM

Post #852638

Crystalspin,
Thanks for the links. The picture on the first one looked right until I did an image search on google & then I started having doubts. Also, I have 3 citrus trees less then 6 feet away & they are not bothering them. And there is no honeydew present. So the look is right but the discriptions are not. Also, the Biology section talks about the 4 stages & that the time to complete all 4 stages is 15 days, and these have been here for weeks & there are no varying stages. And no eggs present or any of the other signs.
As for the grasshoppers & leafcutters, I have never had (KNOCK ON WOOD!lol) no, I cannot even type this because sure as heck I will, & then you know what will happen. Don't want to jinx myself. LOL

I just discovered Tanglefoot this year & I have smeared it on the stems of everything! Those darn ants have a war on their hands.
Thanks for the idea with the lunchmeat plastic. I used to buy the yellow stakes years ago but then I had trouble finding them & had tried to think up a way to make my own & was never successful. This is a simple idea & I have both components, so I will make some today. Your so smart! :~)
Donna





frogsrus
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 28, 2004
5:55 PM

Post #852659

What is tanglefoot? The nasty ants raise treehoppers on everything here. Sounds like a product I need!!
PudgyMudpies
Stockton, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 28, 2004
6:59 PM

Post #852699

Hey Janice,
it comes in a tube about the size of toothpaste & inside is a substance that looks like honey but thicker & stickier. I started out using a popsicle stick to apply it but always ended up with it everywhere, lol, so now I put on a plastic glove, squirt some onto my fingers & just walk around & swipe my fingers around stems, trunks & supports. Then when the ants try to go up & plant their aphids, they get stuck. Every so often I will go around and stir it up a bit in case any ants decided to sacrifice themselves for the cause & start a bridge.
You can get it at Lowes or Home Depot.
You will love it, but just don't get any on you. It is hard to get off.
Donna
crystalspin
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 9b)

April 28, 2004
7:08 PM

Post #852702

Well, I just found out that Tanglefoot is actually a company! The product I was talking about is Tree Tanglefoot Pest Barrier -- it comes in a tub and recommended application is over a band (like, tree tape) ab.1 foot off the ground. They make banding material in foam and in paper as well. You can put it directly on bark, but prob'ly ugly (when full of ants) and pretty yucky to remove / refresh.

Then they have other sticky stuff (or the same stuff in different packages?) in tubes for insects -- designed for making or refreshing traps... and some to put on sills and ledges to discourage pigeons and sparrows from roosting!

They also offer insect traps in several styles (for different pests) and bird repeller ribbon & the balloon with big eyes on it.

If you (or I) don't find it at a local hardware or nursery, can e-mail them to find out who carries it.
http://www.tanglefoot.com/
-- X.
frogsrus
San Diego, CA
(Zone 10a)

April 28, 2004
7:20 PM

Post #852710

Okay then. War has been declared! thanks for the info.

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