Common plant problems in the Atlanta area
Atlanta’s growing season provides plants with almost year around growth. Because of this long growing season pest populations can build to thresholds where plant damage can occur. The natural and man-manipulated environment in Atlanta can also cause stress and eventual decline in our landscapes and forests. The following is a list of some of the more common pests, cultural problems and environmental problems we may encounter year to year.

Ambrosia Beetle

This small beetle attacks stressed plants, boring small holes into the bark and wood.  The adult beetle lays eggs at the end of this tunnel and as it makes its way out of the tunnel it leaves behind "ambrosia", a fungus which the larvae eat after hatching.  An indicator of beetle activity is sawdust toothpicks extruded from the bark.  In many cases once this beetle attacks and the ambrosia clogs the plumbing (xylem and phloem) of the infestedambrosia beetle small.jpg branch or trunk, the infested plant part will die.

Certain plants are very susceptible to this beetle including crepe myrtle, Japanese Maple and many larger trees such as oaks and hickories.  Once infested topical insecticides are of limited effectiveness though the sprays can protect uninfested parts of the plant.

The best prevention is to keep the plants out of stress by proper watering and cultural care.Ambosia beetle on Crepe

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