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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 22, 2013

From: Pensacola, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives, Pests
Title: Identification of insects on crepe myrtle in Florida
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have large colonies of striped bugs on large crepe myrtle in my backyard. They stay in large groups and have long antennae. There are larger black bugs among the groups that appear to corral and guide the packs along. They do not appear to fly. I have seen all ages of these bugs from teeny tiny babies about a mm in size to the larger ones I've seen that are about 1/4" long. I have a picture to send you if it will help. Thank you for your assistance!


Our focus and expertise at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America.  Insects are certainly associated with plants, but we aren't experts on insects.  I did ask a local entomologist if he had any idea what the insects you might be seeing on your crepe myrtle (native to southeast Asia, India and Australia, but not North America) might be.  He said it sounded like a Hemipteran, but since it is in Florida and his area of expertise is Texas, he couldn't be more specific than that.   He suggested that you contact someone in your Escambia County IFAS Extension Service office.  They may have had experience with these insects on crepe myrtle trees and/or they can probably suggest a local entomologist for you to contact.


More Pests Questions

Pests on American Beautyberry from Austin
June 25, 2012 - Something is eating the leaves of my American Beautyberry shrubs. One is almost stripped of leaves on the upper branches. I have looked and can't see any insects or caterpillars. I have also looke...
view the full question and answer

Something eating leaves of Eastern Redbud in San Antonio
May 27, 2010 - I know you had this question a few years back but no answer. Something is eating the leaves of my Redbud (Eastern, I think. There are varying sizes of bites, but most leaves stripped, some to stem. Pl...
view the full question and answer

Black walnut herbivory
June 13, 2005 - We moved to Texas just about a year ago and have loved it here. This past January we visited the Wildflower Center and obtained some black walnut seeds. Up until last night the tree was doing well p...
view the full question and answer

Texas Ash secreting sap in Lockhart, TX
July 05, 2012 - I have what I believe is a Texas Ash in my front yard that is secreting a sap with what looks like some wounds on it with some white stuff and with black and red looking ants as well as it has a lot o...
view the full question and answer

Hibiscus plants being attacked by powdery mildew, or maybe mealy bugs in Austin, TX.
August 10, 2011 - I have three hibiscus plants planted outside about a foot apart from each other. The one that gets most of the sunlight is the worse off of the three. However, all three of them have white powdery stu...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center