There is a new pest attacking plants in Southern California. This pest is called a thrips. It has become a very serious problem to a common ornamental shrub in Ventura County. It is commonly used among highways and freeways. The thrips damages the plants leaves and causes spectacular and unsightly damage.
Myoporum Trees/Shrubs are the target
These trees are commonly used as privacy hedges. They are lined on hundreds of miles along California’s highways. They are a robust, evergreen tree that bears white (or near white) blossoms in winter to mid-spring. It is a fast-growing shrub or small tree which appears dome shaped at first.
The symptoms you see is a very tight leaf curl.
The pictures to the right show the leaf curl that occurs. This leaf curl, when left unchecked, can quickly spread throughout the entire tree. This greatly diminishes the attractiveness of the tree/shrub. It detracts from the tree’s privacy hedge affect as well.
About the Thrips (the pests)
Thrips are sucking insects. They are similar this way to aphids, mealy bugs, whiteflies and scales. The biggest threat to ornamental plants are sucking insects, like the thrips. Thrips are very tiny, and hard to be seen by the naked eye. They can be seen squirming when you uncurl the leaves that they inhabit. Their entire life cycle is only 10 days. They lay eggs, that hatch into nymphs and quickly grow into maturity. They suck the life out of the plants.
There is an expectation that this new genus of thrips, called Klambothrips, will cause widespread damage along the 100’s of miles using the common Myoporum plant.
Kastle Kare Treatments
Kastle Kare treats these trees/shrubs and revives them back to life. Call our office to schedule an appointment to see if your plants are affected by this troubling pest.