unidentified pests on ficus,threadsize ,white.

margaretwykerAugust 4, 2013

These things appeared on a ficus tree of mine. Nobody I have asked can ID them. They are threadlike, whiteish,up to 1/2 in. in length, curl up when sprayed with water and or insecticides, alcohol,etc. they uncurl when they 'dry'? They are attached to the bark. I have not seen any crawling around ,so I do not know how they got all over the plant.
Please has anyone else seen these things. I have sprayed them, did systemic treatment, nothing will kill them. I wiped tree with detergent mixture, even alcohol. I think they are aliens. Help!

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christine1950

They are mealybugs, yuck...

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 5:57PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Nothing about the picture or the description speaks mealy bug to me. Any chance of a better picture if these things?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 8:15PM
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margaretwyker

rhizo, I agree , not mealy bugs. This pic is blurred so it may not help. I lost other images. These things are on every branch . they hang, some stand straight up, some sort of curl. They look like tiny worms? They all 'curl' up when sprayed. They are about the size of a hair. Nothing kills these aliens.I forgot to say these are only attached on the bark ,none on leaves, They are attached at one end of their 'body' and they do not crawl from their spot, just stay there, the branches die off slowly. It is like they suck the life from it.

This post was edited by margaretwyker on Mon, Aug 5, 13 at 11:32

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 10:36AM
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christine1950

OK, I was wrong :>) I dont mind admitting it LOL... I do hope whatever it is can be cured.
Christine

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 2:05PM
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birdsnblooms

Afternoon,

Marg, is your Ficus outside or indoors? Toni

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 2:23PM
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Will07(5)

Looks normal to me! It's just part of the tree.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 7:40PM
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asleep_in_the_garden

If the humidity was high enough a ficus will produce aerial roots. Can't be sure though. :)

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 9:25PM
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sradleye

if they curl when sprayed that suggests something other than roots, no? what happens when you rip them off?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 9:31AM
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margaretwyker

The plant was inside until 3 weeks ago.It was beautiful, and healthy. These things appeared out of 'nowhere'. It is not bark or aerial roots. 'It' is a living creature.
The ones I have removed just seem dead. They are so tiny ,like hair, they appear to be flat and you can 'see' light through them, although they are white. The longest ones are maybe 1/2 " long, but most are shorter. The end that is in the tree bark is a tiny needle like point ,I assume this is how it feeds and stays on the tree. I have other types of plants that were next to the Ficus , but the 'things' never got on them. Thank you all for your help. I live in North Alabama.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 8:52AM
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elkay_gw

Weird. I don't know what they are either. I assume you've sprayed the plant with insecticide?

Hope you can get rid of them.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 10:36AM
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elkay_gw

Weird. I don't know what they are either. I assume you've sprayed the plant with insecticide?

Hope you can get rid of them.

*Oh, sorry.......I just reread your first post and see you already tried insecticide. Good luck!

This post was edited by elkay on Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 12:18

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 10:37AM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

multiple post

This post was edited by grrr4200 on Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 11:07

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 11:03AM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

double

This post was edited by grrr4200 on Wed, Aug 7, 13 at 11:06

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 11:04AM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

Im sorry but you dont have an infestation of anything. Its a natural part of the tree. Every Single one of my ficus trees has this. The 'mouth' isn't stuck to the branch of the tree, it is the branch of the tree. There is no mouth, you do not have bugs on your plant. Eventually tugging and pulling on all of them, and spraying with everything under the sun is going to harm your plant.

Again, theres nothing wrong (as said before) Keep up the good work its growing well!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 11:05AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Is there any possible chance of an image that can be used for identification purposes?

I am much more inclined to agree with grrr. Aerial roots, especially if very fine, would react to chemical treatment in the way you describe.

Did the appearance of these things coincide with the plant being put outside?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 11:36AM
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teisa(6)

Im thinking aerial roots too! She said that plant was fine till she put it outside 3 weeks ago. Probably the humidity in AL caused them to occur. So at least no real problem!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 12:12PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Most parts of N.Alabama has been very rainy this summer and may have helped set up the conditions conducive to the formation of aerial roots.

But, some macro shots of these things would be very helpful.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 1:37PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Most parts of N.Alabama has been very rainy this summer and may have helped set up the conditions conducive to the formation of aerial roots.

But, some macro shots of these things would be very helpful.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 1:38PM
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margaretwyker

These things appeared while the plant was inside ,and has been in the same environment for 7 years. I moved it outside in hopes nature would remedy the problem. It seems that the natural elements are dealling with them, seem to have trouble dealing with the heat, but tree is still alive. i just cannot accept it being roots. They are alive.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 8:21PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Pictures? If your camera or phone does not have the capability for macro images, perhaps you know someone whose does. The power of a good photograph is enormous.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 7:43AM
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christine1950

I wish someone can find out what these are, I even called my local nursery yesterday and they have never heard of what I described to them. I'm so curious now...
Christine

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 8:33AM
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grrr4200(z3 MI)

I just looked at my own ficus trees. I have the same thing, on the trunk and branches. Looks like if you were to 'peel' your finger nail. Its a part of the bark, its attached to the plant. You have no reason to fear that your plant is infested. Theres nothing wrong with it.

However if you are still believing that this is some sort of problem, cut the branch off. cut off every part of the tree that has them.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 12:13PM
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