Tiny bugs on my Meyer Lemon tree?

winstella(10b los angeles)January 22, 2014

My Meyer Lemon tree is budding EVERYWHERE and a couple of flowers just bloomed a few days ago. The flowers are dying now and there are tiny little bugs crawling all over the pedals... is it normal for the flower to just live a couple of days, or are these bugs killing them?

Is it normal for the tree to have bugs?? They're very, very small and crawl pretty fast. No idea what they are, I would take a picture but I'm not even sure if I can capture them...

Edit: I took some photos of them, it was quite hard because they're so tiny. Also, in the photos they look almost black but they're actually yellowish.

This post was edited by winstella on Wed, Jan 22, 14 at 19:26

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Boozemonkey(Massachusetts 6B)

Do a search for spider mites and see if that might be your problem. Lots of smart people here I'm sure they will chime in and help soon

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 1:04PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

No it;'s not normal and flowers can last for days on end..

I would be concerned and you may have to sacrifice your flowers until the next cycle if using any type of oil product..
You could use a non-oily pesticide but I am not sure of what they are.
Someone here can probably help you who's dealt with this..I am not even sure if natural soap product will harm the flowers themeselves...I can't wait to see what someone suggests and wish you all the best!

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 1:15PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Try for the picture, please.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 6:35PM
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winstella(10b los angeles)

Alright guys, I took out my DSLR and did the best I could.. hopefully someone can identify these things and let me know if there is anything I should do?

I just purchased this tree from a very reputable nursery about a month ago and have it growing in a container along with a tangerine tree, valencia orange, basil, rosemary, and red lettuce. All in their own containers.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 7:23PM
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winstella(10b los angeles)

Also, in the photos they look almost black but they're actually yellowish.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 7:27PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

They look like thrips.....I hope not..They are very difficult to rid of...I wish you all the best-)

MIke

    Bookmark   January 22, 2014 at 9:45PM
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winstella(10b los angeles)

so.... how do I get rid of thrips??? :(

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 10:14AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Yes, I agree with Mike, most likely citrus thrips. Spinosad will take care of them. You can buy Spinosad at better garden centers or on amazon.com (Monterey is one brand). Be sure to spray in the evening, once all your bees have gone back to their hives.

http://cals.arizona.edu/crop/citrus/insects/citrusthrips.pdf

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: UC IPM: Citrus Thrips

This post was edited by hoosierquilt on Thu, Jan 23, 14 at 17:30

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 5:29PM
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winstella(10b los angeles)

Thanks Patty! I just ordered a bottle from amazon.

Question: how exactly do I apply it? Do I pour into a spray bottle or do I need to somehow add it to my hose? (New at gardening so excuse the dumb question. I tried to search amazon reviews but didn't find the answer)

Also, should I spray the whole tree or just that single branch that has blooming flowers? I haven't seen them on the other branches but maybe I'm just not looking close enough.

Should I spray my other plants as well? All my plants are in the same area... Lettuce, basil, green onion, other citrus plants, etc...

Thanks so much!!! Spinosad seems like a miracle worker!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2014 at 6:10PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Directions will be on the label.

And yes, they're thrips. The black ones are the adults, the yellow ones the youngsters.

Thrips are quite common in citrus flowers. Not necessarily a disaster on an outdoor plant.

Is your plant indoors? If so, is it possible to put it outdoors where enemies of thrips can do their deed?

Here's info about citrus from UC:
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/GARDEN/FRUIT/citrus.html

Here is a link that might be useful: citrus info

    Bookmark   January 24, 2014 at 1:49AM
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winstella(10b los angeles)

My plants are outdoor in my cement backyard..

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 1:49AM
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winstella(10b los angeles)

I just wanted to follow up... I ordered monterey spinosad off amazon (got a HUGE bottle...) used like a couple teaspoons mixed with water in a hand sprayer, sprayed my plant down completely til it was dripping, sprayed into each flower individually since thats where they were.... and I am happy to announce that after one treatment, it has been over a month now and they are completely gone!

My flowers were opening up discolored and ugly looking... now all the new ones are perfectly white and normal looking. yay spinosad! Thank you Patty!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 6:07PM
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meyermike_1micha(5)

Awww..That is so awesome! I hear that stuff does a great job...I think if I ever have a problem, I know what to use..

Happy for you!

MIke

    Bookmark   March 6, 2014 at 7:33PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Thanks for the update! Did you only have to spray once?...Glad it worked!!

    Bookmark   March 7, 2014 at 10:30AM
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winstella(10b los angeles)

Yes, I only sprayed once... I believe most people do 2 or 3 treatments just to be sure but I am unreasonably frightened of any kind of pesticide so I try to do as little as possible hahah.

unfortunately it didn't do anything for the fungus gnats I have, but those weren't the ones damaging my flowers =)

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 2:33PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Fungus gnats are very well controlled by an organic product called, "Gnatrol". Two, or maybe at the most 3 applications will eradicate the fungus gnats and their larvae. Works extremely well.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 4:18PM
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