bug ID help

dwaughMay 22, 2007

I have a few bugs and I think fungus on one of my rhododendrons. I can't yet tell if they are doing much damage, but would like to know who they are. Photos in the link http://www.personal.kent.edu/~dwaugh/bugs.html

Thanks, David

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

There are many types of insects out there. Some are good and some are bad. We cannot totally get rid of all the critters and instead should concentrate on identifying pests which quickly increase in number while damaging plants. Their shape and physical attributes help classify them into certain groups.

You can also observe what parts of the plants they are damaging. Or are they feeding off wood left out there in the yard? Do they sting? Notice too whether they attack during the day or night. The time of the year and current weather will also offer some clues. Do they concentrate under the leaves or other places? Can they fly? Notice whether they chew part plants like leaves in large numbers and defoliate them. Or do they nibble some leaves and go elsewhere? Do they have sucking mouthparts? These guys cause leaves to discolor, curl and twist. They may also leave deposits under the leaves. Oportunistic insects go from plant to plant nibbling here and there. Others concentrate on one plant and only one plant. Those you can capture and send to your county's extension service in a sealed plastic jar. A good entomology book would help if you wish to research them yourself.

A good online starting website is at Virginia Tech.

I hope this helps you, Luis

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 5:26AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Both of your critters are thrips (adult and immature), a piercing sucking insect. I can't really say what the white stuff is. I'd kind of like to see a different image of it, one that includes the whole leaf.

Great pictures, by the way!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 1:38PM
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jean001(z8aPortland, OR)

1st one is a psocid. Not a problem.

2nd is thrips. A problem.

3rd looks like webbing.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 1:54PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Good call, Jean. The webbing is probably from the psocid, do you think?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 3:09PM
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rhodyman(SE PA, USDA Z6)

I am not a bug person, so being given the ID, here is the information I have:

Thrips, Thrips imaginis: This insect is a seasonal pest, causing most damage in mid to late summer. Signs of damage include silvering of the foliage and distortion of growing points and flower buds. The underside of leaves may be covered with excreta of the insect, which are like brown tar droplets. There are no effective specific biological controls and thus control can be difficult to achieve. Thrips are preyed upon by ladybirds and lacewings but these predators cannot control thrips in plague situations.

Psocids eat fungi (including molds), cereals, pollen, and organic debris.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2007 at 11:53PM
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