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?


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
2 ratings

Saturday - May 10, 2008

From: Krum, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests
Title: Identification of red and black insects on Yucca
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have little red and black insects on my soft leaf yucca and I don't know what they are or how to get rid of them. They make the leaves rusty looking. Do you have any idea what they are or how I can get rid of them (preferably in an organic way).


Mr. Smarty Plants thinks the bugs on your Yucca arkansana (softleaf or Arkansas yucca) are probably Halticotoma valida (yucca plant bug). Ohio State University in their Plant Bugs on Perennials and Landscape Shrubs has suggestions for various ways to control these pests, including eco-friendly ways. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiement Station also has a list of insects (including H. valida) which affect Yucca spp. and means to control them, but their control methods are heavy on chemicals.


From the Image Gallery

Arkansas yucca
Yucca arkansana

More Pests Questions

Squirrels eating seed pods of Rock Rose in Austin
June 24, 2011 - Squirrel(s) have been ripping the branches off my rock rose bushes in order to eat the seed pods. Previously we had problems with squirrel(s) gnawing on our garden ornaments. I sprayed the ornaments ...
view the full question and answer

Identity of tiny green spiders found in Sego lilies
July 14, 2015 - Hi - I'm wondering if you can identify for me the name of the tiny green spiders that can be found inside Sego Lilies (Calochortus nuttallii). I have a photo if that would be helpful. Thanks!! Ca...
view the full question and answer

Lake Plantings and Geese
May 10, 2013 - I live on a small lake in Wichita, KS and we are over run with Canada geese. I would like to plant flowers around my patio (which is not allowed to be fenced off). Are there any flowers or plants that...
view the full question and answer

Disappearance of leaves on desert willow in Tucson AZ
August 08, 2009 - We have a Lois Adams Desert Willow (Tucson, Az). The leaves will pump out and then a day or so later, all of the leaves are gone. The only bugs we've seen on it are very, very small ants. Could this ...
view the full question and answer

Goat damage to Arizona Cypress from Palmdale CA
June 28, 2012 - My goats stripped the bottom branches of my Arizona Cypress. Will they come back and how can I prevent future damage?
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center