Common Brugmansia Pests

If there is one thing that brugmansia growers are not fond of, it is any kind of worm or bug. However, when you are growing brugmansia, getting used to and dealing with them is an everyday thing. The most important thing to learn is how to identify the little critters. In this first picture, it is most obvious that these little crawly creatures are some kind of worm or young caterpillar. It is commonly known as a cabbage worm.

Cabbage Worms

If there is one thing that brugmansia growers are not fond of, it is any kind of worm or bug. However, when you are growing brugmansia, getting used to and dealing with them is an everyday thing. The most important thing to learn is how to identify the little critters. In this first picture, it is most obvious that these little crawly creatures are some kind of worm or young caterpillar. It is commonly known as a cabbage worm.

They can be hand picked or a spray can be used to get rid of them. Sevin works quite well for cabbage worm control. When using new sprays, it is wise to spray a couple of leaves and wait a day or two just to make sure the spray will not do damage to the plants. You can see from the second picture that this worm can do an enormous amount of damage. The damage can be removed by just picking the leaves. Brugmansia plants will replace damaged or lost leaves quickly.

Spider Mites

Now we are talking a real pest. These things appear overnight and in no time have the back side of the leaves covered with excrement, eggs, and webbing. They make webbing, especially visible on new growth. Generally, if not noticed, it will only take a few days for the leaves to begin to yellow and eventually fall off. When brugmansia are young, this pest can actually kill the plants. When full size, they don’t usually kill the plants, but they sure don’t look very pretty. Keep an eye on your plants for this pest, even using a magnifying glass to check under the leaves can be helpful. They are very tiny and some people can’t see them at all.

When you first discover that you have spider mites on your plants, you can begin with control of them by spraying with water. If they start multiplying, you might have to bring in the big guns. There are many products on the market for control of spider mites. Follow directions carefully. Again, some products can do leaf damage even if you follow directions. Remember that spider mites will only be exterminated if you break the life cycle. It will take at least three to four weeks of spraying to break this cycle.

Aphids

Another critter that is familiar to a lot of people is the Aphid. This little guy can cause the leaves to curl and get thick and crisp. If you suspect that you have them, a good spray of water will usually take care of them for a while. Again, you can also spray. Lady bugs love aphids. They can be purchased, but usually in the summer they seem to appear and get fat on aphids.

In the Mid West there is a problem with Cucumber Beetles devouring the blooms of the brugs. Not much information is out there on controlling them successfully with insecticides on these plants. Yes, information is available for vegetable garden control, but reading material indicates that it is specific to the vegetable garden. More searching will be done for information on this particular insect.

Mealybugs

Another pest that crops up once in a while is the Mealy Bug. It will look like little puffs of cotton. They seem to appear close to the stalk and then move to other places on the plants. A Q-tip soaked with alcohol and then dabbed on them will get rid of small infestations or you can even mix alcohol and water in a 50-50 ratio and spray them.

There are probably many insects that can have an effect on brugmansia plants. First identifying the insect and then using your search engine might be the fastest and easiest way to find an effective insecticide or method of control. Just remember to test the leaves first when trying a new insecticide or find someone who has had good luck using this particular kind of insect control. Talking with someone who has raised brugs for a while can be your greatest source of information.

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