Barnacle scale (BS)(Ceroplastes cirripediformis, on left) was found on 'Hardy Daisy' and 'Frost Proof' gardenias. Small white cameo-stage insects were seen on a few leaves. Mature scale (right) were found inside the plants. Eggs were seen under a scale cover. BS are in the same genus as Florida wax scale (FWS) (Ceroplastes floridensis). FWS may be easier to spot as the crawlers line up along leaf veins on the upper surface of the leaf (image below). BS were more concentrated in the lower interior of the plants. The reference cited below states that BS usually produce one generation, with two seen in Egypt. I would have to assume that Mobile can do that as well, which might coincide with FWS, with emergence of crawlers around May 18 and August 23. Some very small BS instars and eggs were seen, so now might be the time to start looking for crawlers and the cameo stage and lifting scale covers to monitor eggs. Several sprays a few weeks apart would probably be the way to go depending on scouting results.
Chilli thrips appear to be getting a taste for azaleas. Some thrip-like damage was observed a few weeks ago on Christmas Cheer and others. This week 'Fashion' azaleas appeared stunted, with thrips-like russeting on leaf undersides. Chilli thrips were also seen on pieris and distyllium in good numbers, but much less on cleyera, a favorite host in the past. Note the difference in chilli thrips injury versus redbanded thrips.
A very heavy infestation of redbanded thrips (RBT) was seen on 'Midnight Flare' azalea at a nursery. Adjoining beds of gumpos and indicas were untouched. The grower thought he had lace bugs (LB). Both insects leave black fecal spots on the underside of the leaf. LB leave white spots visible on the upper surface of the leaf, while the RBT leaf stays green (at first). LB leaf undersides stay green between the fecal spots and feeding sites, while RBT discolors the entire surface. Tapping the foliage over a white surface is the best method for finding both of these pests.
Albert Van Hoogmoed
AL Dept of Agriculture
Mobile and Baldwin Counties
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