Are you seeing cars, sidewalks, driveways, or other plants covered in sticky stuff, especially those under trees? This sticky substance, called honeydew, is produced by certain insects that excrete it when they feed on plants. Plant leaves look shiny and honeydew may be so thick that it drips off the leaves onto the ground or other plants underneath. And in some cases, a black, powdery fungus called sooty mold grows on it, causing the plant's leaves to look dirty.
We've written about quite a few of the insects that produce honeydew in our blog, so here is a list of the possible culprits that may be causing the mess this time of year:
The hackberry woolly aphid is a major pest on
You may see leafhoppers in your garden or landscape this time of year as they hop about feeding on a variety of plants. You can distinguish these small, wedge-shaped insects from other pests by their tendency to quickly jump or crawl rapidly sideways when disturbed.
Leafhoppers are sucking insects that insert their mouthparts into plants and suck out plant juices and cell contents. Damage occurs during feeding, which typically results in leaves looking stippled (little white dots), bleached, pale, or brown, and plant shoots may curl and die. You may notice a sticky residue on the plants called honeydew, a waste product from when some species of leafhoppers feed. A fungus called sooty mold may grow on the honeydew, which can be...