what bug or fungus is this?

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what bug or fungus is this?

Postby cindymills » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:56 pm

I have a growth that looks like a fungus but I suspect it might be a bug. I've had problems with sooty mold which I have fixed by washing with soapy water but this white stuff keeps coming back. Does anyone know what it is and how to get rid of it? It's really stunting the growth of my bay tree and my curry leaf tree.
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cindymills
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Re: what bug or fungus is this?

Postby bubba louie » Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:59 pm

I'd definitely say bug.
Sooty mold is caused by scale but that doesn't look like any scale I know. You could try white oil.
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Re: what bug or fungus is this?

Postby christinek » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:18 pm

Hi. It looks like white scale to me.
This site has pictures that might help confirm the identification: http://www.viette.com/v.php?pg=912
White oil will eliminate the crawlers but not the eggs under the hard shells. You can scrape those off with your fingernail or a brush.
You will need to apply the oil multiple times, to get the critters that you missed the first time. Follow the instructions on the container.
Other methods of control include keeping ants away from the tree as they help spread the scale, and just generally keeping the tree healthy (feeding, watering and fresh air).
Good luck! Scales can be very persistent.
Bye,
Christine
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Re: what bug or fungus is this?

Postby cindymills » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:02 pm

Thank you, looks like that white scale. I try to avoid using pesticides and white oil on these plants because I use the leaves for cooking. I might have to resort to that to get the trees healthier in the long term.
Cindy
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Re: what bug or fungus is this?

Postby christinek » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:10 pm

Hi Cindy.
I have a similar attitude when it comes to plants that I am growing for food, and your situation reminds me of my own situation with olive trees and olive lace bug. Bay trees are tough. I hope it works out.
Bye,
Christine
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Re: what bug or fungus is this?

Postby tam » Tue Jan 28, 2014 9:03 pm

Here is a home made recipe with no chemicals.
Horticultural oils are among the safest and most effective ways of controlling a range of sap sucking and chewing pests in the garden. These days there are two options - traditional white oil, which is based on a vegetable oil, and modern horticultural oils, which are thinner and based on petroleum oil.

The lighter coloured, modern oils spread faster than the old fashioned vegetable oil. This is important because it means that the modern, less viscous, oil doesn’t clog leaf pores when the temperature is over 30 degrees. So in hot weather the newer oil won’t damage your plants.

The other difference is that the modern horticultural oils are based on petroleum and are expensive to buy. White oil is cheap and better still, you can make it yourself.

White oil recipe:

• Use two cups of vegetable oil (I’m an organic gardener, so I use sunflower oil because there’s no chance that it could be genetically modified) and half a cup of washing up liquid.

• Put those into a jar. Put the lid on and give it a good shake and you’ve got concentrated white oil.

• Label it and store this in a cool, dry place and it should last about three months. Remember to also label it with the dilution rate - two dessert spoons per litre of water.

Gardeners have been using oils for about 200 years so it’s been thoroughly road tested. Use these oils on broad leaved trees and shrubs. Don’t use them on hairy or soft leaved plants like lettuce, because it will burn the leaves. The best spraying action is to cover both sides of the leaves and the bark and it’s best to spray in the cool of the morning.

Horticultural oils will control aphids, scale, mealy bug and citrus leaf miner as well as caterpillars. It works by blocking their breathing pores and this suffocates the pest. There is no way that pests will ever become resistant to white oil – so it’s good forever.

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Re: what bug or fungus is this?

Postby bubba louie » Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:49 pm

Well there you go.
I wonder why I've never seen the males?


If you are getting repeat infestations maybe your plants are under stress from something else. A plant that isn't happy tends to be more at risk.
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Re: what bug or fungus is this?

Postby christinek » Thu Jan 30, 2014 4:02 pm

Thanks tam, that's very useful information. I still like to be careful with the oils as they will also smother beneficial insects such as ladybird larvae.

Yes bubba it is a repeat infestation of olive lace bug (OLB). My olive trees are in pots and I just don't treat them well enough. :(
Bye,
Christine
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