Marshmallow slug...

ignatz713June 8, 2011

is the best way I can describe this new, to me, pest. I noticed too late that it had decimated a none-too-healthy crabapple and it is history.

Now, I am seeing one or two of the disgusting creatures on my roses, not in the same proximity, and I am dismayed.

I have never seen this creature in the 20 years I've been here. It is very tiny, maybe 5/16ths of an inch, and white with a yellow head. It doesn't move when touched, and when squished, looks exactly like marshmallow fluff.

My roses are old and near and dear to me, so I would very much appreciate information and a means to their swift extermination. Thank you.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Could it be one of the cottony scale insects? A photograph would be most helpful.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 4:20PM
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morz8(Washington Coast Z8b)

I was wondering if one of the sawfly larvae, I've had those on both crabapple (pear slug) and rose (rose slug) - but I don't think I'd say fluffy when squished, more like wet yuck.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 4:28PM
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ignatz713

I've not been successful with posting photos in the past, I could try again.

Wet yuck sounds about right, but pictures of sawfly larvae aren't the right color. These are pure white, with yellow heads and are stuck quite tight to the branches.

I'll try to get a picture next one I see.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2011 at 4:44PM
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ignatz713

Got my answer. I had an arborist out to estimate a tree & shrub plan, and he knew immediately what I had -- cottony scale. He said there is a huge epidemic of them here.

No wonder the white icky part didn't move - it was an egg sack (capable of holding millions of eggs, it seems!) and the yellow head was the host scale. Disgusting.

Thanks, everyone.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 9:26AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Each egg sac may hold hundreds, not millions, of eggs.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 12:09PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

It was the 'marshmallow fluff' clue that gave it away, lol.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2011 at 12:10PM
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ignatz713

"Each egg sac may hold hundreds, not millions, of eggs."

That's still hundreds too many for me! At any rate, it was the tree guy who said 'millions'.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2011 at 9:46AM
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