Scale,Aphids,or Spider Mites.....HUH?

Asked April 24, 2018, 1:32 AM EDT

I just read your post regarding Meyer lemons dated April 20th and you talk about insects to be aware of "Scale,Aphids,or SpiderMites". Great understood.... But how does one know whats, what? Can you show us an example of each ones affect on the lemon or a photo of the insects themselves ? As i have two types of lemon trees (Meyer Lemon & Eureka Lemon) and would like to know what i am looking for to prevent.

Washington County Oregon

2 Responses

I did not see the article you mentioned, so some of this may repeat what you read there. In general, citrus grown indoors for most of the year is subject to very common pests you mentioned: scale, aphids, and spider mites. In our relatively mild northwest climate, citrus could remain outdoors year-round and be brought indoors (perhaps into an attached garage) only during freeze events.

Spider mites, which most often are on the undersides of leaves, resemble tiny spiders, but are less than an eighth-inch long. Some kinds can spin sparse, thin webbing but that often occurs late in the infestation when 100s to 1000s are present, a time when the plant has been seriously weakened.

Scales are also small. They are different than most plant pests because, after they begin to feed, they never move again. Each one is literally stuck to the leaf where its mouthparts are inserted into the leaf. You’ll often find them lined up along the midrib on the backs of leaves, also on stems. They’re difficult to see because their translucence blends in with the plant tissue.

Aphids vary in size, up to just a bit less than a quarter inch long, and may be variously colored. Those on citrus are often pale color, and blend with stems and leaves.. They are generally long-legged and can move around, although generally quite slowly. They often first appear on newer growth, both leaves and flower buds.

A side effect of both aphids and soft scale is that the affected plants acquire a sticky surface, the result of honeydew the insects excrete while feeding on sugary plant sap. That stickiness can make a real mess!

I’ve attached 3 images for you:

-- soft scale from TAMU - Recall that scale is very small.

-- spider mites from University of Lincoln, Nebraska - Again, recall that mites are very small. The presence of webbing indicates this infestation was overlooked for far too long.

-- aphids from University of Florida - Recall that various aphids may be green, pink, rose, yellowish, black, and even spotted. These are green peach aphids.

Thank you so much for the response to my question.... I'm tickled with this "Ask the expert" .
This day right here right now I am the most informed regarding my plants as i have ever been.
You answered my question perfectly and my favorite part of that is it included

So very much appreciated thank you, Jean R. Natter