Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

Support the plant database you love!

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

QUESTION:

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!

ANSWER:

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 Non-Natives Questions

Non-native gardenia in Cedar Park, TX
October 07, 2009 - My gardenia, which is planted in a large pot, drops the buds before they bloom. What do I need to do. I already fertilize it with gardenia food.
view the full question and answer

Survival of non-native rosemary on sea breeze from Alberta Canada
July 28, 2011 - I read that Rosemary, in some locations, can live on nothing other than the humidity carried by the sea breeze. Is this true?
view the full question and answer

Getting Rid of Firecracker Flower
July 16, 2015 - We live in the Tampa area of Florida. We planted Russelia equisetiformis under some palm trees 10 years ago. It has grown deep among the palm tree roots. We want to kill the Russelia without harming ...
view the full question and answer

Changing color of crape myrtle blooms
July 08, 2008 - I have 5 well established crape myrtle trees whose blooms are a very light lavender/pink color. I would like to know if there is any way to deepen or change the color of the blooms. I would prefer a m...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive peanut butter tree from Canby, OR
July 17, 2012 - I too have a peanut butter tree with the pink and white blooms, its about 5 years old and is beautiful, but 2 weeks ago it started wilting and losing all its leaves, I am afraid it is dying. Can I sav...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.