Creepy Bugs Eating My Juniper!

amaranthena(6b)February 16, 2007

To my horror I found dozens of small black bugs eating away at my skyrocket juniper! I don't think they're mites because they're larger in size. They look like tiny spiders and they've imbedded themselves within the juniper. Some sections have dried up and fallen off. I've been picking them off by hand and have sprayed soapy water with pepper but they keep coming back. It's a little skyrocket in a pot I had purchased recently that I've been keeping indoors with the intention to plant it outside in the spring. Does anyone have any idea what they may be and how I can kill them once and for all? I'm afraid that if they're not completeley exterminated they'll infest my outdoor junipers. Thanks in advance!

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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

My take on this is that they are spiders and that the dead bits are due to other causes. If you do not see them actually sucking or chewing on the plant then do not kill any more of them, spiders are beneficial predators. If you can't post a picture here try taking samples to an Extension office, if you have one near there. A reliable independently owned and operated garden center might also have answers for you.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 3:14PM
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amaranthena(6b)

Hi bboy,

Thanks for you response. They are definitely not spiders. I'm very familiar with spiders of all sizes and shapes. They look like little black ticks. They have a tiny little head, a bulbous body with tiny antennae and tiny hairlike legs. They walk very slowly but faster than aphids. I had killed a batch of them a week ago and it looked like they were all gone but today I saw a few dozen all over the juniper again. When I squash them they ooze a dark red liquid. I'm totally confused.

    Bookmark   February 16, 2007 at 4:52PM
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