Friday, June 4, 2010


See those small white tufts on the stem there? If this were a movie, they'd be slowly crawling around. You'd never notice it unless you were looking for them, which is what happened to me last year; I got a horrible mess of these on my tomatoes and potatoes when I mistakenly thought they were just powdery mildew. (When they start to really aggregate they look just like a fungus growing on the plant.) Fortunately I found that if I sprayed the plants with the hose, or shook them really hard, the bugs would jump off and many would not return.

There were an awful lot of them last year, on all of my plants and on trees all over town. They seem to like hibiscus a lot - that's where I found these last weekend. I'm not sure if these structures on the leaf are eggs or a different stage in the life cycle. They hold very still.


  1. Do they do any damage? Do they eat the leaves and leave holes? I guess having so many bugs on your plants that it looks like mold can't be very healthy for the plant.

  2. They don't eat holes in the leaves, but they suck the plant juices out, which seemed to be a bigger deal for some plants than others. The tomatoes took it pretty hard, but the hibiscus took it in stride, even when there were quite a lot of them.