A Bug The Size Of A Pencil Eraser Wreaks Havoc On Perennials During Late SummerPest Control

Those of you who are gardeners have likely developed a knowledge concerning insect pests. Even a quick Google search will tell you which insects are beneficial to gardens, and which insects can spell disaster for gardens. However, not all garden insect pests get the negative attention they deserve. The magnolia scale is one such obscure insect pest that even some of the most seasoned of gardeners do not know a thing about. A lack of knowledge regarding these bugs is understandable given their minute size. In fact, magnolia scales are no larger than pencil erasers. It takes some sharp eyes to spot one of these garden menaces hiding beneath flower petals. Unfortunately, now is the time of year when these bugs cause the greatest amount of damage, and not just to magnolias, but to all perennial plants.

Magnolia scales are often found hiding underneath the branches of perennial trees. These insects are responsible for the eventual thinning of perennial trees. However, if gardeners keep on the lookout for early signs of damage, magnolia scales will not be a problem for perennial gardens.

These scale insects will excrete a sticky and translucent honeydew after feeding on perennial leaves. Initially, this honeydew may be hard to catch, or if it is found, this substance may seem harmless to gardens. Unfortunately, this honeydew eventually becomes moldy. This mold is black and sooty, and many gardeners have likely spotted the mold while not spotting the scale insects responsible for its growth. If you happen to spot this mold, then do not worry, as the mold will not kill your perennials. But, you do want to make sure to rid your plants of the scale insects that caused the moldy growth, or plant death may eventually result. The black mold could be considered an early warning sign. These scale insects can be picked off, but due to their tiny size, most gardeners require the services of an insect pest professional so that the proper insecticides can be applied.

Have you ever spotted black sooty mold on any of your perennial plants? If you have, did the plant eventually become damaged?