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Timely Tendings: Dealing with pests

Timely Tendings: Check your plants for harmful insects

Check plants for harmful insects

Whiteflies can be very damaging. Check citrus, gardenias, camellias, your vegetable garden and other host plants.

The nymphs feed on the underside of leaves. One sign of an infestation is the presence of black, sooty mold on top of the leaves. Adult whiteflies are attracted to yellow. Place yellow sticky cards near the plant so that, as the adults mature, they will fly to the cards and get stuck.

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Be on the lookout for fall armyworms in all types of lawns. Armyworms are the larvae of moths. When full grown, the larvae are about 1 ½ inches long, yellowish brown to black, with a wide, dark stripe on each side of a mid stripe that ends in an upside-down "Y" on their head. Their feeding can cause circular bare areas in the lawn.

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Insects such as hornets, yellow jackets, mud daubers and cicada killers are all wasps. They are generally considered to be beneficial and not pests because they attack and destroy many harmful insects found around homes.

Hornets and yellow jackets kill such pests as houseflies, blowflies and various caterpillars. Though beneficial, wasps also attack people. They nest above and below ground, and some are very aggressive. To control these pests in inappropriate places — such as near entrances and walkways — use a wasp and hornet spray for quick knockdown.

Compiled by Theresa Badurek, urban horticulture extension agent, UF/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Service. For additional landscape and garden information, visit For regular tips and information about what's growing in Pinellas, go to

Timely Tendings: Dealing with pests

Timely Tendings: Check your plants for harmful insects 09/20/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 20, 2013 1:20pm]
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