,Lubber grasshoppers have hatched and emerged from the ground. They can ruin lily plants by chewing the young stems to the ground. Young grasshoppers, black with either a red or yellow stripe, can be controlled by picking off the insects and dropping them into a bucket of soapy water or smashing them. They are slow, easy to catch and harmless to humans.
Spider mites are a big problem on many plants during dry, warm weather. Signs of mite infestation are chlorotic spots on leaves, rusty needles on junipers, and stippling of leaves. When an infestation is heavy you may be able to see the fine webs. Spray with insecticidal soap or paraffin-based horticultural oil following directions on the label. Neem oil is also an effective miticide.
The love bugs are around again and, as every year, we can only offer our sympathy, especially to those who have to travel through the state during the daylight hours. The larval stage of the love bug feeds on leaf mold making them difficult, if not impossible, to control. Smashed bugs should not be left on your car because of the possibility of paint damage. You can use a strong detergent solution to remove them. They do not bite or sting and are active over a four- to six-week period.
Source: Theresa Badurek, urban horticulture extension agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension