Gardening

What insect populates my photinia hedge?


Question: What insect populates my photinia hedge?


On my photinia plants I noticed on the branches of white insects vaguely todic and soft, the largest with diam. of 3mm., as if a drop of cream had fallen on the branch and the tip of the same was placed curved at the top of the back. They have no legs or hair on sight. Turning them upside down, I notice a central hole and a bright red color inside, I also seem to notice 4 small claw-like peduncles (I'm not sure, however, that they are such), placed in a counter-position in the order of two pairs located at diameter edges and closed on the same. Is it a cochineal? What kind? I hope I made myself understood. Thank you for your reply. Best regards, Angelo

Answer: What insect populates my photinia hedge?


Dear Angelo,
your plants have been attacked by the cochineal; those waxy domes you see are not insects, but bags of eggs. The wax shield serves to winterize the eggs away from the weather, so that they hatch in the spring, already in the place where the insects will then have to nest.
In general, these insects kill themselves using mineral oil, which dissolves the waxy domes, leaving the eggs exposed to the cold. If the egg sacs are low, you can also remove them with your hands and burn them.