Category Archives: Pests

Sycamore Lace Bug

While visiting the Genoa Friendship Garden in Harris County Precinct 2, I came across a sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) that was dropping its leaves. Upon closer inspection, there were groups of sycamore lace bugs (Corythucha ciliata) on the underside of the foliage. The sycamore lace bug is a native North American insect that feeds on sycamore trees. It feeds on the underside of the leaves initially causing a white to silvery stippling that can lead to chlorotic or bronzed foliage followed by premature leaf drop. A single occurrence should… Read More →

Rose Rosette Disease (RRD)

Rose Rosette Disease is in Texas but currently not in Houston. This blog entry will provide a brief overview of the disease along with links to valuable resources for the green industry. RRD Overview: Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) has been identified in the Dallas – Ft. Worth area, but has not been confirmed in Houston. RRD is caused by a virus (Rose Rosette Virus-RRV) that is transmitted by the eriophyid mite, Phyllocoptes fructiphylus. RRD was initially identified in the US in 1941 – spread of the disease in the… Read More →

Attracting Beneficial Insects to Your Garden

Every year gardeners lose numerous plants to insect pests. However, there are practices a gardener can employ to decrease pest pressure.  Nature has natural enemies and their diet consists of the pests that ravage your tomatoes, cucumbers and begonias. Start with good horticultural practices in your garden. Prepare the planting site properly. Start with healthy plants. A stressed plant is a vulnerable plant so maintain the proper moisture and fertility. Use mulch to conserve water, reduce the weed population and to help improve the soil. A diversified planting… Read More →

Finding Leaf-footed Bugs in Your Tomatoes?

It’s that time of the year to see leaf-footed bug (Leptoglossus phyllopus) damage. The leaf-footed bug belongs to the order Hemiptera, the true bug family. Adult leaf-footed bugs get their name from the flattened, leaf like flare on the lower portion of the back legs or tibia. The adult body can be a greenish gray to black, about ¾” inch-long, with upwardly pointed structures on what we would think of as the shoulders. They are hard bodied which makes them somewhat difficult to control. Juveniles (nymphs) are smaller… Read More →

Integrated Approach to Greenhouse Pest Control

The use of beneficial insects to help control greenhouse pests continues to increase. Growers are continually looking for ways to efficiently and effectively control their pest problems. Integrated pest management (IPM) uses biological control agents as an alternative to, or in conjunction with compatible pesticides. Greenhouse pests reside in an ideal environment in which to live and breed; and an abundant supply of plant material on which to feed. Such conditions can result in rapid multiplication of pests which, until now, has required regular and routine spray programs…. Read More →