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Insect Pests of Ornamental Plants

Mississippi gardeners grow hundreds of different species of plants in the home landscape, and most are attacked by one or more insect pests. Being able to identify and control these pests is an important part of managing a home landscape.

Insecticides are not the only tools we have for controlling insect pests. There are many things you can do to reduce the chances of having insect problems that do not involve insecticides. Be aware of the insect pests likely to occur on different plant species and work proactively to minimize the potential for pest problems. Avoid plant species or varieties that are particularly prone to pest problems, keep plants healthy and vigorous so they can defend themselves from pest attack, and avoid actions, such as applying unnecessary insecticide sprays, that can trigger pest outbreaks. When pest outbreaks do occur, insecticides can be useful gardening tools, but they must be chosen carefully and used properly.

Publication 2369, Insect Pests of Ornamental Plants in the Home Landscape, gives specific information on the management and control of most of the common insect pests of ornamental landscape plants. It also contains information on how to choose and purchase insecticides, how to apply insecticides, and information on insecticides available for use in the home landscape. See Publication 2483, Integrated Pest Management in the Home Landscape for information on non-insecticide insect management methods and tips on how to use insecticides properly when treatment is necessary.


More Publications and Information:

Integrated Pest Management in the Home Landscape, Publication 2483
Granulate Ambrosia Beetle, Bug-Wise Newsletter No. 1 of 2012
Insect Identification, Bug-Wise Newsletter No 1 of 2011
Periodical Cicadas, Bug-Wise Newsletter No 4 of 2011
Insect Pests of Houseplants, Publication 2652
Insect Pests of Roses, Publication 2472
Spider Mites, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 5, 2007
Insecticides for Use on Ornamental Plants, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 1, 2006
Azalea Lace Bugs, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 6, 2006 (Page 2)
Asian Wooly Hackberry Aphid, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 16, 2005
Lantana Lace Bug, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 16, 2005 (Page 2)
Fall Webworms, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 12, 2005
Spider Mites on Ornamental Plants, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 9, 2005
Crape Myrtle Aphids, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 21, 2004
Pine Beetles in Urban Pines, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 17, 2004
Eastern Lubber Grasshoppers, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 14, 2004 (page 2)
Azalea Caterpillar, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 12, 2004
Lesser Canna Leafroller, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 8, 2004
Hibiscus Sawfly, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 7, 2004
Pecan Phylloxera, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 2, 2011
Pyrethrin, Pyrethrins, Pyrethroids, Permethrin, What’s the Difference? B/W Newsletter, No. 4, 2010
Invasive Insect Pests to be Alert for this Fall, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No. 11, 2010
Organic Insecticides for Use in the Home Landscape, Bug-Wise Newsletter, No 6, 2008


Dr. Blake Layton, Extension Entomology Specialist
Department of Entomology, Mississippi State University
Phone: (662) 325-2085