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

Large shrub or tree for front door in Houston
January 16, 2013 - I am in search of a shrub or tree to plant next to my front door. I want a showy medium sized shrub or tree (8 to 12 ft), decorative, and a privacy screen since my front door faces my next door neig...
view the full question and answer

Monocarpic plants for Indiana
October 06, 2005 - We were in Hawaii this summer and became acquainted with the Silversword. This plant (according to what we were told) blooms only once in it's lifetime (of 50-70 years). Are you aware of any other pl...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Trees for Low Maintenance Screen
April 18, 2015 - We live in Pacifica, CA and are looking to plant a row of low maintenance trees in our back yard along our fence, that grow to be a maximum of 15' high, that stay green year round. What do you recomm...
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrubs with red berries in Connecticut
June 24, 2010 - In my yard there are bushes about 4 1/2' tall with red berries. The berries are bright red and somewhat translucent with striations visible through the skin.I thought they were gooseberries perhaps, ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with red tip photinia in San Antonio
March 29, 2009 - I have a red tip photinia that's about 20 years old and about 20 feet high--it is big! I noticed last summer the highest leaves looked droopy all the time even with deep watering and now that portion...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center