Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

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 Pests Questions

Catalpa and maple with dying branches in Wisconsin
July 07, 2008 - We have a northern catalpa in our front yard. It's been there for about three years now and is probably 25' high. This year it appeared to be doing great. It flowered and then all of sudden last ...
view the full question and answer

Worms in non-native snake plant from Hillsborough NC
September 17, 2011 - I purchased a snake plant this summer for my screened in porch. I did not repot it and left it in the plastic pot in came it. I was about to repot the plant to bring it in and noticed there are worm...
view the full question and answer

Unknown pest of Texas Mountain Laurel from Round Rock TX
May 24, 2012 - I have a Texas Mountain Laurel that is being denuded from the top down by something unseen. It's not the Genista moth larvae, as there are no worms and no webbing visible. The only clue that it might...
view the full question and answer

Identification of strange tiny creature in plant water
January 14, 2010 - I have a house plant rooted in water. I has been for over a year and the plant seems healthy, I change the water often and keep it clean. I now have noticed that something is growing it. A fish type o...
view the full question and answer

Leaf Galls on Live Oak
March 20, 2012 - Hi - I have a live oak tree that always seems to have thinner foliage than our other two. Upon closer examination today I found small brown balls all over the mature leaves. The balls look and feel ve...
view the full question and answer

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