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Mealy bug infestation in Oak Tree

Posted by zonotrichia Tampa, FL (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 11, 09 at 16:06


I have a Live Oak in my yard that is absolutely infested with what I assume to be mealy bugs. It started several years ago and has been growing in scope each successive summer. This year, I see more fuzzy white than I do green when I look up from the base of the tree. None of my other trees or those of any of the neighbors seem to be affected.

What can I do to help my tree? It's an otherwise beautiful and healthy tree, but it's starting to really drop leaves at this point as the life is sucked right out of it. I've tried several sprays and while they seem to have some little affect, the problem is obviously growing. As it has now spread to the upper limbs, as well, it is too difficult for me to practically spray at those lofty heights.

Any advice would be welcome!

Thank you,

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Mealy bug infestation in Oak Tree

I've never heard of live oaks getting mealy bugs but that doesn't mean it never happens. First I would try and get a positive ID on what you have. If you can take a picture and post it that would be great. Or you can take a sample to the extension office out in Seffner and someone there can help you with an ID. Without a correct ID you're just running in circles.
Hope this helps.

RE: Mealy bug infestation in Oak Tree

Here are a couple of pictures that I took of one of the lower branches.

Any help would be most appreciated!

RE: Mealy bug infestation in Oak Tree

Doing a search I found this...sounds familiar? (see link)

soo...besides the coinsidence of the question and answer:
I think this is what you have: Interior Live Oak Mealybug
BUT I can't find any real information on it. The reason that I think it is this mealybug is through process of elimanation. Nothing else seemed to fit.
I couldn't find out how harmful it is or anything else. I am going to assume that since there is very little information that it isn't much of a problem.
You can try doing a search and maybe find something I didn't.
If no one else steps up to the plate to help you on this forum then you can call the extension office @ 744-5519

Here is a link that might be useful: white stuff

RE: Mealy bug infestation in Oak Tree

Does it look like this?

Here is a link that might be useful: interior live oak mealy bug

RE: Mealy bug infestation in Oak Tree

Zono supplied a photo but not a close up so we're working with wide angle shot and a close up. it's not easy to make an id.

RE: Mealy bug infestation in Oak Tree

After visiting the links you provided and then surfing around a bit more, it really sounds like I have a woolly aphid problem. That's a starting point, at least. Thanks guys!

RE: Mealy bug infestation in Oak Tree

Kind of an interesting problem in that the U of FL seems to have no records concerning the Live Oak Mealy bug. If that bug had ever been an economic pest in Fl they would have. It was found in 1900. Wooly aphids can be controled with a systemic like imidacloprid. I get them on my orchids and alocasias from time to time, but to treat a live oak...get a 50 gal drum to mix in.

good luck john

RE: Mealy bug infestation in Oak Tree

Try Bayer Tree and Shrub concentrate . It is a drench that is a systemic containing Imidacloprid labeled to kill aphids and scale among other things . Read and follow the directions on the label carefully . This contains no fertilizer and can be used at any time .
Not cheap but well worth it when you have identifiable problems . Easy to use too .

May be Bark Lice

You may have a bark lice. They are no big deal - they are absolutely harmless to the tree. They appear every August and September and cover the main trunk, major and minor branches in a heavy white webbing. See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bark lice

RE: Mealy bug infestation in Oak Tree

Here is link with pictures of every bug that ever infested any tree. I don't think I'm exagerating.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bugs rogues gallery

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