Have you asked yourself whats that black mold on my plants? Black mold on plants its quite possibly it could be one of four mayor insects that have made there home in South Florida.


How Do I Get Mold on Plants?

Whitefly, Scale, Mealybug and Aphids belong to the same order of Hemiptera and sub order Sternorrhyncha and therefore have similar characteristics one which is sucking juices from the host plant and the other is excreting a sticky glucose substance called honeydew which when a fungi grows on it it produces that black mold on the leaves called sootymold.

Aphids on Podocarpus
Aphids on Podocarpus
Aphids on Podocarpus macrophyllus 2
Aphids on Podocarpus
Aphids on a penny
Aphids on a penny

 

 

What are these insects?

Scale insects are are a piercing sucking insect that can cause severe damage to plants, trees, palms and shrubs when they heavily populate a plants species. They feed on the plant by inserting a tiny strawlike mouthpart into plants and suck fluids, sucking plant fluids from leaves, stems, and sometimes the roots. Some species feed on the underside of leaves, which can appear as stippling (small yellow spots) or lesions on the plant leaf. Heavily infested plants look unhealthy and produce little new growth. Heavy infestations can cause extensive leafyellowing, premature leaf drop (defoliation), branch dieback meaning the branches die, and eventually plant death. Scale insects are one the most serious pests of many plants, trees and palms in Florida.

Mold on Plants
Mealybug on foxtail palm

 

longtailed mealybug on Foxtail Palm under microscope
longtailed mealybug on Foxtail Palm under microscope

The sticky stuff

That sticky is stuff is the excrement of the insect and it too causes problems by attracting sugar or glucose feeding ants they having a unique partnership known as symbiotic relationship the existence of one benefits the other. If you have one of these infested plants near your property you will begin to see heavy ant traffic in and around your property you need to take steps to first control the insect on the plant to get control of the ant problem.

 

The black stuff

The black mold on plants you see is another huge problem for yo, your plant and your property. on the plant it prevents sunlight from being used by blocking out the sunlight causing further damage to the plant by preventing photosynthesis which is the way plants produce there food primarily glucose and the plant is already suffering by getting the life sucked out of it by the insects not its starving because it cannot produce food on its own. You will soon be suffering from the effects of the sooty mold too, if you have a pool deck or patio and its on your palms or trees that sooty mold will stain your deck, patio furniture and anything else that is under it, this will require a pressure washing to remove but you must take care of the root cause, those tiny little bugs.

mold on plant
Sooty mold caused by mealybug infestation

The key to any successful control program is found in IPM Integrated Pest Management

The Cure

Finding a long term solution to what appears to be a persistent and permanent problem. Lets discus the options.

Option 1: Spraying

Spraying is a good option if you have just a couple of plants or your trees and shrubs are lower than lets say 10 feet.

Depending on which one of these insects you have you need to be aware of there biology and by this i mean how they reproduce, how long does the insect take from egg to birth to molting and to adulthood, how many does each adult produce, how many times can the adult produce in its lifetime. In order to get control you need to break the cycle of reproduction, in some cases its as short as 5 days in others its 30 days. this is why most spray programs are ineffective at getting any real long term control because most are set up every 2 to 3 months by this time the insects have overpopulated themselves.

Choosing a pesticide, what class of pesticide will you use and by class i don’t mean the brand name, by class i mean how that pesticide kills the insect known as mode of action, is it Pyrethrins and pyrethroids that work by altering nerve function, which causes paralysis in the insect pests, eventually resulting in death, are they natural or synthetic and how often will i have to apply it to get control?

A Professional Natural Spray like Rockewell Labs EcoVia is a good option for quick knockdown and control, however great IPM is required for a spray program to be effective the most important part is INSPECTION you must inspect at least once a week.

To purchase this product or for more info on this product including label and msds visit the web site link bellow .

To Purchase ECO Via EC Natural Insecticide Click Here.

Option 2: Systemic Treatments

Systemic treatments are treatments performed by the use of systemic insecticides know as Neonicotinoids Neonicotinoids are a relatively new class of insecticides. Imidacloprid belongs to the nicotinoid chemical family, a family of chemicals similar to the tobacco chemical, nicotine, that have a common mode of action in that it affect the central nervous system of insects, resulting in paralysis and death. It is applied by either root drenching which you pour or inject a solution containing the pesticide into the ground on and around the root system of the plant.

If a good IPM Program seems like its something you may not be able to perform as required then we prefer option 2 the systemic treatment using Dominion 2L from Control Solutions, offers a long term control solution to spray programs by using just one application per year in most cases, it provides a superior level of control preventing re-infestations producing a more aesthetically pleasing plant.

On the environmental side you only have to use once to twice a year versus 6 to 12 spray applications with traditional spray programs. It also protects pollinators like bees, beneficial insects like parasitic wasps that kill these insects that attack your plants since the insect has to suck the plant in order to die this is not the case with sprays, with a pray everything that comes in contact with the spray dies.

To purchase this product or for more info on this product including label and msds visit the web site link bellow .

To Purchase Dominion 2L Systemic Insecticide Click Here.

I want to help as many people as i can to perform their own pest control services safely and effectively. If you would be so kind as to leave a comment or review about this post it would really help me do the best job i can for you. Don’t forget to register to receive free updates, exclusive content, and product reviews straight to your inbox.

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