[From the UC IPM blog Pests in the Urban Landscape]
These insects may be small, but they can quickly build up large populations. With many different species in California that feed on vegetables, flowers, fruit trees, and woody ornamentals, aphids are a common sight in landscapes and gardens. Year after year, aphids continue to hold the top spot. Learn more about aphids and their management in Pest Notes: Aphids.
2. Fungus Gnats
Another tiny insect sometimes found on houseplants, thrips are slender insects about the size and shape of a dash printed in a newspaper. They suck out the cell contents, leaving a discolored speckling on leaves or stunting plant growth. For more about thrips monitoring and management, visit our Pest Notes: Thrips.
If you've found soft, oval insects that are white in color with wax filaments on your indoor or outdoor plants, it is likely you have mealybugs. These wingless insects are often found in clustered colonies. In yards and gardens, handpicking, pruning, or high-pressure water sprays can reduce populations. For small infestations indoors, spot treatments may help reduce populations. For houseplants with severe infestations, consider disposing of the plant. Find additional information in Pest Notes: Mealybugs.
5. Carpet Beetles
6. Peach Leaf Curl
Peach leaf curl can affect the blossoms, fruit, leaves, and shoots of peach and nectarine trees. The symptoms of the disease first appear in spring, when distorted red foliage emerges. However, focus management for nonresistant varieties in the late fall and early winter, after leaves drop. Read more about this disease in our Pest Notes: Peach Leaf Curl.
7. Clothes Moths
New to the top ten list this year were clothes moths. These pests tend to hide when disturbed, so you may not realize you have an infestation until after the moths have already damaged fabric, fur, or feathered items. Some clothes moths make webs while others are casemaking moths. Regularly monitoring and cleaning clothing and storage areas can help prevent or reduce infestations. Find more identification and management information from Pest Notes: Clothes Moths.
Whiteflies are not actual flies but are tiny insects that are often found on the underside of leaves, feeding on the phloem of many different plants. Certain species can cause significant loss in vegetable gardens; other species found in fruit trees are less damaging. Both adult and immature whiteflies also attack houseplants. Management information can be found in Pest Notes: Whiteflies.
Scales are small, legless insects that look like tiny scabs on the stems, leaves, or fruit of plants. While some scale species can weaken a plant when abundant, other species do not appear to damage plants at all. Think you have a problem with these insects? Visit our Pest Notes: Scales for identification and management options./h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>/h3>