tiny white specks on leaves/limbs/truck

brass_tacks(8b/GA)November 29, 2006

Hope someone will be able to tell what this insect is, so I can get rid of them. They are so tiny that looking through a regular magnifying glass doesn't show any features other than what I can see with my naked eye. It's a very tiny white speck that is elongated rather than round.

This past August the hybiscus had was just about all covered with these specks. At first (from a distance) I figured that the plant was stressed because of the heat. When I decided to look closer, I recognized that these white specks didn't belong. I gave the whole plant a harsh washing with the hose and the specks gave no resistance--covering the entire area below. The plant started to recover--growing new leaves. Now the specks are back--and since I am moving it into the garage at night (for fear of frosts), and that is where the geraniums go at night, I see these white specks on my geranium leaves too. During the summer, the geraniums and hybiscus were no where near each other. I gave the hybiscus a strong hosing yesterday and notice this morning that there are some of these specks back on the leaves and can recognize that the trunk nearest the ground has the highest consentration.

Please help.

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Sounds like it could be one of the scale insects, since you make no mention of any observable movement in these 'specks'. Take a look (google) at snow scale, for example, a common pest of hybiscus and other plants.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 9:01AM
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brass_tacks(8b/GA)

rhizo,
After reading about the snow scale (cycad aulacaspis scale), you just might be right. Tomarrow I'm going to have to take a look at the Sago (Cycad) and see what the underside of the lower fronds look like. I was wondering why the lower fronds were all brown--got good care and all. That hybiscus is going to have to go--it's a host--and by the time I get things under control, who knows how many of these specks are going to be picked up by the wind and scattered and land on a new host.

Here these hard white bumps all over the limbs and trunk are not part of the plant--like I figured.

I don't know what's involved, but I'm going to try and get to know the entomologist at the Univ. of FL. (if there is one). I read that it takes an entomologist that specializes in scales to determine what kind one is--after dying and putting on a slide for the magnification. My biggest concern are my citrus trees.

Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play. Where never is heard a discouraging word and the skys are not cloudy all day.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2006 at 9:02PM
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