Help identify white insects

eroell(z7 VA)July 5, 2005

I have seen these insects the past two years, and cannot identify them. I've checked different guides online, but I'd appreciate some help. (Not white flies).

They are white, almost flat, and leave behind some white, powdery resideut. If you get close to them, they leap off of the leaves...I can't see any real wings on them.

They don't appear to be harming my tomatoes at all, but they're multiplying quickly and I've also seen them on the grape vines.

Any help is appreciated!!

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1janetta0(9bsunset16CA)

They sound like white flies

Janet

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 2:05AM
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eroell(z7 VA)

I've looked online at pics of white flies, and these look nothing like them. They are very flat, almost powdery, and leave a cottony residue behind. They also jump, not fly. They don't seem to be doing any damage. A friend who is an entemologist (sp?) looked at them and didn't know either...he's researching it as well.

Do we have an unusual insect here in N. Virginia? Help??

If I have a chance tonight I'll try and take pics of them.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 9:08AM
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felpec(Z5/6 NJ)

They can't be that unusual, 'cause I have them too.

I find most of the cottony residue along (or around) the stems and where the leaf meets the stem. I've never seen it underneath a leaf.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 5:06PM
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eroell(z7 VA)

Yep, that's what I have, around the stems. It's odd that nobody here has been able to say what these are yet and if they're a threat to our plants. I'm glad I"m not the only one who has seen these!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 5:13PM
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griley(z5 Chicago)

eroell, I had the same insects covering a few of my container plants. I assumed they were whiteflies and pitched the plants- it would have taken a lot of insecticidal soap to get rid of them. Since then I've only seen them a couple of times on different plants and I just squirt them with soap. There's a thread going now about psyllids (sp?) started by Janetta. I did a google image search and I believe that this is our insect. I didn't have a chance to check it out further and don't know how damaging they are.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 5:57PM
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felpec(Z5/6 NJ)

I looked at the pix on Google image search - and I don't think that's our mystery bug.

I have sprayed insecticidal soap every day for a week, and they just seem to jump over to a neighboring plant. Doesn't seem to matter what kind of plant - I've found them on my native plants, parsley, fuschia and citrus trees.

I don't see any "damage", but who knows? I'd love to know what these little buggers are...

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 8:01PM
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griley(z5 Chicago)

Well, I'm stumped. Maybe it's the white stuff that looks the same. I didn't notice any damage either. Whatever it was I had a lot of it! I'll keep looking. Good luck in your search!

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 8:20PM
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farkee(Florida)

Catch some and take to the nearest extension office. Also can't somebody take a photo?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 9:50PM
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eroell(z7 VA)

I looked at the psyllids, they look related, but none of the psyllids I saw pics of were white. The potato psyllids looked the closest maybe??

I took pics, but can't seem to upload them...they aren't very sharp.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2005 at 10:18PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

Is this it? I looked them up last year but can't find the name again. They were described as fast moving for mealy bugs.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 12:23AM
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farkee(Florida)

Loretta, I can't make out the details of that insect. Just looks solid white on top. (no texture??) It wasn't a mealybug destroyer by any chance?

Here is a link that might be useful: Mealybug destroyer

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 1:23AM
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suze9(z8b Bastrop Co., TX)

Squeeze some of that fluff that's deposited -- if you get some orange-ish colored goop to ooze, that's mealybug eggs.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 7:11AM
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redbeard92(z7a NJ)

Here's a similar thread currently running on 'Gardening in NJ'.

Rob

Here is a link that might be useful: Similar link

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 8:27AM
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eroell(z7 VA)

I've squished the white residue, and there is no orange goop. The photo above DOES look like what I've got, although I don't think the Mealybug destroyer is it either, very odd but I'm glad I'm not the only one with them!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 8:45AM
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felpec(Z5/6 NJ)

Here's a picture

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 11:52AM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I'm telling you, this bug was easy to google last summer...drat, I forgot the name.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 1:43PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I just posted over on the NJ forum the same...How about a wooly aphid type?
I emailed a pic to What's that Bug and that was his guess. Also, I looked closer at the bugs and noticed a little dew drop attached to each bug and when I scratched off the fluff, it looked like a green aphid. What do you see on yours?

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 2:14PM
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pksinan(z7NM)

I've got them too in Eastern PA. Have never been able to identify them. Seems like something this widespread would be in the books by now.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 3:24PM
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farkee(Florida)

If it 'hops' I don't think it would be a woolly aphid--I think it is psyllids whose nymphs are oval and flat. According to Peterson's Insect Guide "many produce a large amount of waxy filaments, making them look like little blobs of cotton." They are ACTIVE JUMPING INSECTS.

Perhaps you all have different insect in your respective locations.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 3:26PM
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griley(z5 Chicago)

I'm still leaning toward psyllids. Just from doing the google image search it seems that there are many different kinds of psyllids and maybe we're catching them at different stages- just a thought. One thing that is consistent is the cotton and the activity. I found some cottony stuff on the back of a leaf along with some bugs that looked like large, flat aphids- perhaps a psyllid nymph? Just found some hornwom poo today, too. Remind me...why am I doing this?:)

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 4:18PM
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Loretta NJ Z6

I am leaning toward a type of psyllid too. I did have one jump for me finally off an astilbe (or astible - whatever).

    Bookmark   July 7, 2005 at 8:56PM
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flowerpainterny(z6 NY)

This sounds like the same thing I've just seen on a woody stem of Fuscia. Includes pics of adults and good description.

Here is a link that might be useful: citrus flatid planthopper - Metcalfa pruinosa (Say)

    Bookmark   July 20, 2005 at 11:07PM
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eroell(z7 VA)

I think you're right!! These DO look like what's been covering my garden, and I noticed now that I have a lot of the adults, so it makes sense. It's good to know that these do little damage. FINALLY after so long, we have an answer! Thank you!!

Here is a link that might be useful: citrus flatid planthopper - Metcalfa pruinosa

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 9:08AM
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Sue416

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/NE/cottony_cushion_scale_parasite.html

They are unarmored scale

Cottony cushion scale parasite
Scientific name: Cryptochaetum iceryae

Here is a link that might be useful: UC Davis

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 10:58PM
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magic954

Yes you are right it is scale white flies are very small almost look like flying white dust, almost 100% sure its scale.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 12:48PM
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evilscott(USDA=10, Sunset=24)

Mealybug or Cottony Cushion scale.

Treat with neem oil.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2013 at 4:21AM
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