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climbing hydrangea infestation

Posted by susie2scottie 6 (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 12, 12 at 17:37

The 4-year old climbing hydrangeas in separate locations in my yard -- healthy till this spring -- have become infested with cottony, white, fibrous, sticky, fairly rectangular spots on the underside of all their leaves. (See photos.) From the top the leaves look normal.

One bush is seriously deteriorating and I expect the others will follow without help.

Does anyone recognize the bug and know how to treat it? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: climbing hydrangea infestation

They look like mealy bugs.
You could try spraying them with dishwash liquid diluted 1:1in water, week by week, until the eggs have finished hatching and the young bugs have passed on. (Stir the mix to prevent your sprayer from foaming furiously.)

The detergent dissolves the bugs' protective waxy surface and they then come to a sorry end.

For spot control - use rubbing alcohol (methylated spirits) on a cotton ball. It works well - and you will have to repeat a few times to catch any that hatch later.

You can also try blasting them off with a strong water stream.

Fingers crossed, your plants 'should' recover for either a burst of leaves before winter, or come away again next spring. I wouldn't feed them now, though, in case you get new wood which you could lose to frost.

RE: climbing hydrangea infestation

The photo is very fuzzy, but to me they look like they might be scale egg masses. Check a few photos online to see if this might be what is infesting your hydrangea. If so, be sure to clean up and dispose of (do not compost) all the fallen leaves, then check for egg masses on remaining stems. If there are masses on the stems, you can spray with a horticultural oil in late winter or early spring. The scale are most susceptible to the spray when they are young, still in the "crawler" stage.

Here is a link that might be useful: U. Conn. IPM info on scale

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