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Avocado

Other Invertebrates and Their Damage

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Occasional pests

  • Armored scales
  • Mealybugs
  • Soft scales
  • Whiteflies

Pests on young trees

  • Branch and twig borer
  • Brown garden snail
  • False chinch bug
  • Fuller rose beetle
  • June beetles

Quarantined pests

  • Glassy-winged sharpshooter

Names link to more information on identification and management.

Click on photos to enlarge
Occasional pests—Rarely cause economic damage in avocado due to suppression by natural enemies
Pale adult female latania scales
Armored scales
Identification tip: Tiny, circular, flattened, immobile scale covers encrusting fruit surface. More commonly occur on leaves or twigs.
Female longtailed mealybug
Mealybugs
Identification tip: Blackish sooty mold, sticky honeydew, or whitish wax from colonies of small, powdery insects. Effective natural enemies usually control mealybugs in avocado.
Citricola scale-infested leaves
Soft scales
Identification tip: Blackish sooty mold, sticky honeydew, or trails of ants on plants. Soft scales are blackish, brown, or orangish, flattened-to-hemispherical insects.
Two adult greenhouse whitefliesWhiteflies
Whiteflies
Identification tip: Blackish sooty mold, sticky honeydew, or trails of ants on plants. Adults are tiny, whitish insects. The immobile, older nymphs vary distinctly by species, ranging from black to pale, translucent, or covered with extensive whitish wax.
Pests only when infesting young trees, not important on mature trees
Dead leaf spur on branch
Branch and twig borer
Identification tip: Dead shoot with feeding pit at crotch. Pit or hole in bark exuding sugary or white flaky sap, wind -broken branches can also indicate tunneling by a pale larva of this dark, elongated beetle.
Adult brown garden snail
Brown garden snail
Identification tip: Numerous irregular holes in leaves or chewing along the edges. Shiny dry or wet, slimy trails may be evident on plants or the ground from snails, which feed mostly at night and hide during the day.
Adult false chinch bug
False chinch bug
Identification tip: Shoots wither and die suddenly because of feeding by small, grayish bugs, which suck sap from stems.

Crop damaged by Fuller rose beetle
Fuller rose beetle
Identification tip: Leaf margins, ragged, notched, or serrated, usually on lower foliage, from nocturnal chewing by brownish snout beetle or weevil.

Adult masked chafer
June beetles (scarabs)
Identification tip: Leaves and shoots chewed and young trees defoliated. The cause of damage is not obvious since these stout beetles feed at night.
Quarantined pest—Not currently damaging in avocado, may require treatment of nursery stock before young trees can be shipped.
A brownish collapsed blister of glassy-winged sharpshooter eggsGlassy-winged sharpshooter
Identification tip: Pale blister or brown scar in leaf from cluster of eggs laid by large, mostly dark brown to blackish leafhopper. Whitish excrement on plant if insect is abundant. Not currently a pest in avocado, except for nursery stock quarantines. May be a concern because it vectors Xylella diseases lethal to grapes and certain other crops if nearby.

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