Dallas-sticky residue on everything including lettuce

dpgrows(7)April 15, 2012

When I was checking on my garden a couple days ago I noticed the banana leaves were very shiny and when I touched them they were sticky. On the other side of the house checking the tomatoes, the PVC pipe used as a brace was very sticky and so were the leaves of the plants in that garden. It's on the lettuce leaves and at the front of the house all over our cars, too, which eliminated something coming from the huge trees in the backyard. Does anyone know if they have been spraying for mosquitoes or anything? When I look at my windshield it's looks like a mist of droplets, but it smears and is sticky. Same on the plants in the gardens around my backyard. I'm actually in Balch Springs part of Dallas.

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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Likely from honeydew. So look for insects on the undersides of overhanging branches.

The most likely critters are aphids. Other possibilities are mealybugs, whiteflies and soft scale.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 1:04PM
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Thank you for your reply, but I guess I didn't state it right. It's like a fine mist was sprayed and covered everything. Honeydew would only be on some plants and looks very different. This stuff is all over the tables, chairs, vehicles, patio furniture, the vegetables, banana plants...everything. Everything you touch you can feel it's sticky, and it's all over the property. My biggest concern right now is the lettuce since I was planning on harvesting it and now I'm a bit hesitant.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 1:12PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

dpgrows, you should contact your local municipality for this information. With a couple of phone calls, you should be able to find out if and when any abatement trucks or planes have been out.

Please note that the honey dew from large trees can be carried in the wind, however odd that may sound.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 4:42PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


The only time I've seen that is honeydew from aphids on large pecan trees. Any of those around? It can blow a ways from the tree. This is a common complaint about pecan trees but it seems early for a heavy aphid infestation.

If it is honeydew, rinse the lettuce and it will be fine to eat.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 4:45PM
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We have four large oak trees in the back yard, no pecans. Aphids are only a few here and there on any of the vegetable plants, so I wouldn't think they'd be overabundant in the trees. The trees dropped all their flowers quite awhile back along with thousands of tiny white maggot looking larvae of some sort. But if honeydew can travel a distance, maybe it is something from the tree. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 5:07PM
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When an aphid creates honeydew it forms in a "bubble" on it's rear and it uses it's hind legs to kick the bubble off itself. If it's falling from a high area it can travel a bit of a distance/angle before it lands.

They love the red oaks in my front yard.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 6:10PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

fruitnut, I cannot think of ANY tree that couldn't be the aphid provider in such a situation! Maples are big offenders, for example. Almost any hardwood and conifer alike can harbor the insects that will produce copious amounts of honeydew.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2012 at 10:24PM
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Is it sweet?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 2:05PM
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Some people cultivate aphids/honeydew for bees to feed off. It produces a very rich/dark honey. Go figure.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 4:23PM
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ltilton...LOL I have no idea and I wasn't about to taste it to find out. That rain that came through washed everything clean. But all of you have given me an interesting schooling on honeydew. I had no idea.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2012 at 5:34PM
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