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Help with bug identification?

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Help with bug identification?

Post  jjlonsdale on 5/24/2013, 3:54 pm

Hello all,

Found these little buggers on one of my cowpea plants yesterday. (It was just a baby plant so I just snipped it and took pix and threw it away.) Any ideas what they are?



The tiny brown critters are mostly stationary. The larger, dark brown ones are moving around. Maybe the little ones are growing up into the big ones?

There were also ants running up and down the stem, making me think that maybe the ants were herding these little dudes like they would with aphids, but I've never seen or heard of brown aphids.

And what on earth is that white spiky fuzzy thing???

My plan is to commit mass insecticide tonight with NEEM Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil but I'm awfully curious as to what they are and what they're doing.
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Re: Help with bug identification?

Post  jjlonsdale on 5/24/2013, 3:56 pm

Oh, and for size reference, these guys are TINY. The main stem (the larger one, on the right) was maybe half the diameter of an ordinary pencil.

And altho the cowpea plant was about 7 inches tall total, all these guys were clustered into the one little area, less than an inch long.
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Re: Help with bug identification?

Post  yolos on 5/24/2013, 4:02 pm

I had some like the smaller ones last year but mine were a darker color. I called them aphids and treated them the same way. But I would also like to know what they really are. They loved my pink eye purple hull peas.
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Re: Help with bug identification?

Post  jjlonsdale on 5/24/2013, 4:05 pm

HA! These cowpeas are also pinkeye purple hulls! Now that is interesting.

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Re: Help with bug identification?

Post  No_Such_Reality on 5/24/2013, 4:11 pm

They're aphids. Aphids range in color from bright pink or orange to green, brown or black.

The white fuzzy thing looks like a mealy bug destroyer in larvae form. It's a type of ladybug.

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Re: Help with bug identification?

Post  jjlonsdale on 5/24/2013, 4:19 pm

No_Such_Reality, I think you're exactly right!

Some searching with those terms got me these:

http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-15_ladybug_mealybug_destroyer.htm

http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=14049

One source of confusion is that apparently the mealybug destroyer larvae look like mealybugs!!! Given that this one was presumably chomping down on aphids I'm guessing it was a good guy. Maybe I can find where I threw the plant (out into the back alley) and bring him back.

I love all the new knowledge I'm getting! Also it's very strange to see my perspective shifting. All my life I've thought of aphids as cute, and spiders sent me running out of the room with a high-pitched girly scream of terror. I wouldn't have thought ANYTHING could cure me of my disgust of spiders. Now I'm quite happy to see (small) ones spinning their little bug-catching webs in my garden, and the sight of aphids fills me with revulsion!
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Re: Help with bug identification?

Post  Triciasgarden on 5/24/2013, 8:11 pm

jjlonsdale I agree with you about the spiders. I see them all the time in my garden and don't even pay much attention to them. I let a few do their webs (only small ones) in the house but watch to see what type of spider they are. I figure if they are alive then they must be catching some little bugs I don't see. I don't like them in my bedroom though.
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Re: Help with bug identification?

Post  jazzycat on 5/24/2013, 10:26 pm

Speaking of spiders, earlier today I noticed a small web on one of my plants. Didn't see a spider anywhere. Should I leave it be?



jjlonsdale I agree about the learning! Spiders never really bothered me much unless it looked like a black widow or a brown recluse, but some other bugs do. Now, I don't want to kill anything until I learn more about whether it's good, or bad. I have noticed quite a few of those pill bug things in my bed, so I imagine I need to take care of that. Also, ants. Little tiny ones. Everywhere. We have fire ants though, so I'm happy they aren't those. I'm not sure what to do about it though. I don't want to kill any beneficial insects, but I did buy some neem oil, just in case. So far I haven't noticed any damage, so I've been hesitant to act. I also don't ant to wake up one morning and have my plants destroyed. We have a TON of frogs here, so I think they're keeping a lot of things in check.

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Re: Help with bug identification?

Post  jjlonsdale on 5/25/2013, 12:13 am

@Tricia, haha, I haven't yet got to letting little spiders have little webs in my house! Then again, as you say... if they're making a web they must think they'll catch some food... hmmm....

@jazzy, I have a number of little webs like that on my trellis and on a couple of plants. I think they're doing more good than harm.

Brown recluse -- UGH! I got bit (or possibly spit on, as they can spit) by a brown recluse at summer camp in 8th grade on the back of my leg. It spread out to a cracked, peeling, red, gross MESS that was literally the size of my palm. Nature can be scary.

I'm attacking my ant problems with cornmeal, cinnamon, some NEEM treatments, and some VERY careful use of DE (don't want to hurt the ladybugs and spiders and other good guys!). I'm hoping that if I do it consistently it'll make a difference.

I'm jealous of your frogs! I think North Texas is far too dry for them, compared with Georgia.
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Re: Help with bug identification?

Post  jazzycat on 5/25/2013, 1:24 am

YIKES! Your encounter with a brown recluse is terrifying. affraid

Our swimming pool has turned into a pond. The frogs LOVE IT. I want to to turn it into an aquaponics pool and grow fish, but my sister wants to clean it up and use it (which, she never does). So we're battling about what to do with it.

I tried putting some DE in the tomato plants that are in 5 gallon buckets, but it didn't kill the ants, so I won't use that again. At least, not in the plants. Maybe I'll try the cornmeal/cinnamon treatment and see how that works before doing the neem. I've also noticed some little black gnat looking things hanging out on the stems of some of the plants. But again, they don't seem to be hurting anything, and since I don't know what they are, I'm hesitant to kill them. There aren't a lot of them, just a few here and there. I think I'm going to brew some compost tea tomorrow and spray them late afternoon. It's supposed to give them a coating that helps repel the bugs (I think?). At any rate, it can't hurt. Smile

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Pictures

Post  Marie14513 on 5/25/2013, 4:39 pm

How do you post pictures on this sight? Also I see bees today and they looked Brown not yellow! What a Face

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Re: Help with bug identification?

Post  camprn on 5/25/2013, 5:52 pm

@Marie14513 wrote:How do you post pictures on this sight? Also I see bees today and they looked Brown not yellow! What a Face

There is a sub forum of how to do things on the forum. You can find the directions here for uploading photos.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/f33-forum <~~~click

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