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Diagnosing the Problem

Effective management of insect pests requires proper diagnosis of the problem. Often we can make reliable diagnoses based on damage that insects cause. The most reliable diagnosis requires identification of the insect or mite itself. Diagnosis based on symptoms can be divided into the following damage categories:

  • tattered leaves or flowers: can be caused by grasshoppers, caterpillars, adult or immature beetles.
  • stippled, bleached or bronzed foliage: may be caused by insects with piercing mouth parts such as lace bugs or plant bugs. Mites or thrips may also cause this type of damage.
  • die back of plant parts: is often caused by scale insects or by beetles or moth larvae that bore inside the stems.
  • evidence of insects themselves may be: webs, tents, cases, flocculence (cottony material), frass (fecal material), sawdust.

Common Insect Pests in Nursery Production

Click on the links below to learn more about each pest.