Litte White Bugs "porcupine"

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by My Rotten Brat, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. My Rotten Brat

    My Rotten Brat Member

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    I found tiny bugs covered with soft, white spines on my hibiscus buds. When startled, they curl up and then walk away as briskly as they can when they get their courage back up. (Pretty slow and easy to catch and easily squashed - it was an accident) They're about the size of one-half a piece of dried rice except chubby and spiney and snow white. Actually kinda cute. They do not fly. I figure they must be destructive if they're primarily hanging out on the hibiscus buds.

    I am in Houston, TX. Anybody know what they are?????

    Thanks!

    Lea
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Not necessarily, could I suppose be a larva of a predatory insect feeding on other, smaller bugs that ARE attacking the hibiscus.
     
  3. My Rotten Brat

    My Rotten Brat Member

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    Hmmmm.... very mysterious. I guess I should stop squishing them. They may be perfectly innocent little guys. Probably more innocent than most people! Thanks for the reply.
     
  4. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If you can post a photo, someone may be able to ID the bugs. Maybe mealy bugs??
     
  5. TrentCoole

    TrentCoole Member

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    Is it a greenhouse reared plant or a house plant, that has been placed outside? That would correspond to a mealybug infestation. Check to see if the shoots are discoloured & do they seem focused on the buds or leaf axils. Right on.
     
  6. My Rotten Brat

    My Rotten Brat Member

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    Okay. As soon as the sun comes up, I will be out there with my camera. Thanks so much for the replies. PHOTO ON ITS WAY!
     
  7. My Rotten Brat

    My Rotten Brat Member

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    HERE'S THE PHOTOS - See? Kinda cute huh?
    First photo is his belly after I turned him over.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    Re: Creepy Little White Spiney Bugs - PICS ATTACHED

    maconellicoccus hirsutus - pink mealy bug. they love hibiscus.
     
  9. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Re: Creepy Little White Spiney Bugs - PICS ATTACHED

    Yikes!!! These guys are creeping me out too and I'm just looking at a photograph. What is UP with that long white fur? Had to run outside and take a look at my own hibiscus just to reassure myself. ---Was going to suggest that you try bugguide.net, but I see that you have already done so! Proof that great minds think alike. ---Will be interested to learn what these are. Larval form of something...?
     
  10. guysela31

    guysela31 Member

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    Re: Creepy Little White Spiney Bugs - PICS ATTACHED

    Those are called "mealybugs". They can be cause quite a lot of damage if not treated.
    Guy
    www.smart-fertilizer.com
     
  11. My Rotten Brat

    My Rotten Brat Member

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    Re: Creepy Little White Spiney Bugs - PICS ATTACHED

    When I went to BugGuide.net they told me these are GOOD GUYS. They are Mealybug DESTROYERS. They attack and eat mealybugs. How cool is that. Apparently they were imported to the US in 1891 and are frequently purchased to control mealybugs.

    I had no idea there were so many bug enthusiasts out there. Now I'm hooked. So many photos of some of the most hideous creatures, yet others are exquisitely beautiful. Amazing creatures....
     
  12. monkey

    monkey Member

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    I could be wrong as I often am , but I believe the bug on the right is the Larvae of The Mealybug Destroyer, a good bug , they also eat aphids , check google images
     
  13. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Re: Creepy Little White Spiney Bugs - PICS ATTACHED

    Bugguide is GREAT. I have a fondness for stag beetles, which this site helps me to indulge. Photography is stupendous!---Good news about your furry friends. Are they having an effect on your hibiscus, good or bad? Have they migrated to other plants? And I wonder why they have suddenly appeared in such numbers. ???Anyhow, thanks for the update!
     
  14. My Rotten Brat

    My Rotten Brat Member

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    Re: Creepy Little White Spiney Bugs - PICS ATTACHED

    Good questions. I wondered why they suddenly popped up as well. Perhaps they travel in groups like a "gang"! Little vigilante gangs! Terribly conspicuous though... Feel kinda guilty about throwing the model for my photos in the trash. Guess I'm going straight to Hell for that one. (He was such a good little model)
     

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