Lemon tree problems

Discussion in 'Citrus' started by mariec, Oct 3, 2007.

  1. mariec

    mariec Member

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    Location:
    Biloxi, Mississippi, USA
    Local Time:
    12:01 PM
    Hi,
    I have a lemon tree and satsuma trees which have black on the leaves and thousands of tiny white bugs. The fruit are also getting the black on them. At first I thought this was dirt from mowing the grass and dust being thrown on them but now that the timy white bugs have come, I'm not sure what it is and what to do.
    Please help!
    M
     
  2. sabagal

    sabagal Member

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    Location:
    Kansas City MO USA
    Local Time:
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    mariec

    Could you describe the tiny white bugs better? It could be mealybugs. These are fluffy cottony white masses on the branches and leaf nodes. Another possibility is whiteflies. They are tiny white fly-like insects that cover the undersides of leaves. The black is most likely sooty mold caused by the honeydew both of these insects excrete. Control the insects and you eliminate the mold. Depending on which critter it is control is different. To id them check out BugGuide. They have great photos of different insects.

    Mealy bugs are controlled with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Whiteflies are hard to control outside. In Missouri we are unfortunately having a banner year on them and most people I know are finding their collard and mustard greens almost inedible. The best you can hope for (I have been told by an experienced co-worker) is to just live with the whitefly adults until the weather changes. If you have these trees in pots and plan to move them inside then you will need to treat before you bring them in. The eggs and immatures will stay on the plants for a long time. Horticultural oil should work to kill them off. Treat and check your plants are clean before bringing them in. These critters, both pests, will have fun in your house and spread to other plants along with becoming an entrenched pest. (Whiteflies are so small your heating system can move them through the house very quickly)

    Good luck
     
  3. mariec

    mariec Member

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    Location:
    Biloxi, Mississippi, USA
    Local Time:
    12:01 PM
    Hi,
    Thanks for your answer.
    My problem is the white flies and moldy leaves. What happens when the weather changes? Will the flies die and how do I get rid of the mold? I'll check out the bug guide too.
    Thanks,
    M
     
  4. sabagal

    sabagal Member

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    Location:
    Kansas City MO USA
    Local Time:
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    as the weather cools down the whiteflies should get better. The only thing I don't know is how cold it gets down your way. One great place to get info is your county Cooperative Extension office. Look them up in the government pages. They will be able to help you get exact information. All I can give you is northern Missouri info. As for the sooty mold, just wash each leaf off and it will be gone. Don't use anything but plain water and a soft cloth. Those leaf shine products can clog the leaf pores. The big thing to remember about sooty mold is that it is always a symptom of something else. Generally it means you have scale, aphids, whiteflies or mealybugs. They excrete the sugary goo called honeydew and the mold lives off it. Control the bugs and there is no mold. Good luck.
     

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