En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - April 02, 2014

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Shrubs
Title: Tiny red bugs on Mountain Laurel from San Antonio TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hordes of solid bright red tiny bugs are all over the bark of my Mountain Laurels. The infestation has me very worried. How can I deal with them? Thank you in advance for helping solve this problem.

ANSWER:

We are up against a wall on this one. Here is a  previous answer on pests of Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel). Here is another previous answer about red-backed bugs. In neither case does it actually sound like what you are describing, and none of our sources seem to feel there is any insect pest that bothers the Texas Mountain Laurel except the genista caterpillar.

We have another idea. The genista catepilla is a pest of Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel). Also a pest of this plant and many others, is the aphid. And what is the main devourer of the aphid? Hippodamia convergens, convergent lady beetle (from the University of California Integrated Pest Management website). Go back and look at those bugs and look at the pictures and information on that article about them.

If that still doesn't sound or look right, we suggest you contact the Agriculture and Natural Resources Section of the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Office for Bexar County. Trust us, if those are ladybugs on your plant, they will harm neither you nor the Mountain Laurel, but they will make lunch out of any aphids in the vicinity. While we are not entomologists, the Texas Extension service has entomologists on their staff and can help you more than we can.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Winter-interest plants in Wynnewood PA
July 11, 2010 - Could you please suggest flowering plants that provide winter interest after drying out (ie with seed pods or interesting dried flower heads)? I'm looking for something that grows in full sun. Thank ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub with thorns
August 07, 2008 - I have a plant in my garden that I need to identify. It is a tall shrub (approx. 10 feet) that has very large thorns on its green branches. It is now showing small white flowers. I don't know if i...
view the full question and answer

Dogwoods cross-pollinating from Snyder, CO
October 24, 2012 - I have a red twig and a yellow twig dogwood. Will they cross-pollinate to produce berries? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Cake decorations with flowers
February 25, 2009 - Can I decorate a cake with bluebonnets, lavender or mountain laurel blooms?
view the full question and answer

Brown leaves on Bottlebrush shrubs after freeze in Georgetown, TX
January 31, 2010 - I have Bottlebrush shrubs that have all brown leaves after the freezes that we have experienced here in central Texas. Will they be ok?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center