Woody Ornamental Pest Update
Posted: June 2, 2011
It is such a cliché: “You can’t control the weather.” It certainly is true though. Gone are the cool, rainy days replaced by July heat! Interesting how quickly things change. I hope none of you or your extended families were impacted by the tornadoes that have plagued our area and a large part of the country.
One group of insects that I see every year causing some level of damage, particularly to herbaceous perennials, is plant bugs. They have piercing/sucking mouthparts and extract cellular fluid, causing various foliar discolorations. Sometimes this may look very similar to lace bug damage. They also leave behind dark fecal spots like lace bugs do. However, these are usually on the top surface of leaves instead of the bottom. Damage can be tolerated. If a treatment is deemed necessary, insecticidal soap, horticultural oil, or other contact or systemic insecticide can be applied.
I saw my first brown marmorated stink bug nymphs today. Previous to this, I had not seen the adults outdoors on ornamentals, which is strange considering how many overwintered. It will be interesting to see what size population develops over the summer. In 2010, I did not see damage to ornamental plants. If you encounter damage on herbaceous perennials or woody plants, please let me know – send a picture too.