Tiny black bugs

Asked July 6, 2019, 6:15 PM EDT

Surfinia in hanging basket--outside: Tiny black round dots/bugs emerge from some buds instead of flowers. I've sprayed with Rose and Flower inset killer (B-cyfluthrin +Imidacloprid) but the frequency of these dots is increasing/spreading. They disperse somewhat, although most remain close to the open bud. I've very occasionally seen a non-moving tiny winged insect. Any ideas what these are/what I should be doing to be rid of them would be much appreciated.

Montgomery County Maryland flowers: annuals and herbaceous perennials pest insects and mites black bugs on petunias

4 Responses

We're not sure what black spots in the photos are those you're referring to.

Would it be possible for you to place a bud with the dots/bugs on a piece of white paper and send us some clear photos of just that?

Ellen

We're not sure what black spots in the photos are those you're referring to.

Would it be possible for you to place a bud with the dots/bugs on a piece of white paper and send us some clear photos of just that?

Ellen

So tried to give you a few shots. The bud opens, and you can see lots of these dots inside, before they come out. When they come out, they're scattered around the bud, and a few go further on leaves, but mostly they stay around the bud. I've never seen a black dot moving--they're very black/round. Yesterday, I found a single winged bug--tiny---not moving either. They don't appear to be eating the plant, but the prevalence of them is seeming to increase.

The second photo is a very clear one. It show a seed capsule which has developed where a fertile flower once was and has fallen off. When the seed capsule opens, little black seeds fall out and stick to the leaves and sepals off the spent flower. Petunia (Surfinia is a type of petunia) has very sticky leaves and the seeds are sticking to them.

So, no bugs. Just seeds.

You will get more flowers and no seed capsules if you deadhead your petunias. This is a relaxing activity of gardening. Just pinch off spent flowers as they droop and shrivel up. This also encourages the plant to put its energies into making more flowers instead of seeds.

Ellen