Problems and Pests of Agave, Aloe, Cactus and Yucca AZ 1399 Revised 03/11. Her articles on technology, small business and legal topics have appeared in magazines, newspapers and trade journals. This diverse group of bugs can severely damage agave by piercing the flesh of plants and feeding on sap. Container grown agave plants in cooler climates are rarely effected by this pest, though. It has very wide and showy markings compared to the species. There are insects that are helpful to the health of the plants’ ecosystem, but there are those that are invasive and can take up residence in your plants and make their way to your other plants, infecting your whole collection. Commercially available spray pesticides that are stronger can kill pests, but they may damage nearby plants and kill beneficial insects. However, yucca plant bugs (Halticotoma valida, family Miridae) can cause serious harm to their namesake host by using their piercing-sucking mouthparts to extract the essence of yucca. 16). Enemies of agave include several types of bugs that can mar the plant’s appearance and lead to severe damage. Be sure to spray all surfaces of the plant, as these small insects can easily hide in every nook and cranny. When leaf-footed plant bugs pierce the flesh of agave, they leave a light yellow scar on the plant. Similar in appearance to cacti, agave are succulent perennials with fleshy, spiny leaves that are sometimes lined with sharp teeth. Flowers are formed in large clusters, and often white. They have a hard covering to protect their bodies and the eggs of females. Leaf-footed Plant Bugs When leaf-footed plant bugs pierce the flesh of agave, they leave a light yellow scar on the plant. They are easily recognizable. The brownish-black insects are about a half-inch long and have long snouts. Agave plant bug control should be repeated every two weeks to ensure eradication of this pest. These modifications allow them to survive and thrive Agave and yucca plants do well in well-drained soil with little water. Leaves are fleshy or tough and long. Yucca spp. See more ideas about agave plant, cacti and succulents, plants. The Giant Agave Bug feeds on the juices of the agave plant. When you touch it, the plant will feel firmly attached to the ground. Agave Borer Weevil, (also known as the Agave Snout Weevil) and the Yucca weevil are devastating insect pests to members of the Agave and Yucca genera. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. However, these landscape grown agaves can be susceptible to the Caulotops barberi pest, resulting in stunted or irregular growth. Controlling the presence of agave bugs includes a mixture of methods. If tiny bugs are flying around your houseplants, they're most likely spider mites or fungus gnats. Agave victoriae-reginae: This small agave has upright leaves tipped with black spines that only measure about 10 inches in height. Agaves generally have very few problems with pests and diseases. During cold weather, they find protected areas such as woodpiles, tree trunk cracks and piles of debris. Snout weevils (Scyphophorus acupunctatus) are serious pests and feed on several species of agave. They chew on plants and leave rotting wounds. may be evergreen trees, shrubs, or perennials. Examining your agave plant's symptoms is th… Unlike beetles which have chewing mouthparts, the true bugs have piercing and sucking mouthparts. Agave attenuata is a large evergreen succulent that is commonly known as fox tail agave, which is a reference to its striking flower stalk. are succulent perennial plants. Common Pests and Diseases . Go to the Agave Snout Weevil page Aloe mite on Aloe arborescens 'Variegata' Plant bugs (Caulotops and other species) are small insects that occasionally build up in large numbers and damage agave plants by feeding on leaves, resulting in light yellow scars or spots. Your insect is not a beetle, but rather a true bug. Overview Information Agave is a plant found in parts of the US, as well as Mexico, Central and South America, the Mediterranean, and some parts of India. In addition to sucking sap, soft scales and mealybugs produce waste called honeydew. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. In late summer to early fall, large populations of agave plant bugs may infest agave and other succulents, causing massive damage to a xeriscape. The agave snout weevil (Scyphophorus acupunctatus), also known as the sisal weevil, feeds on many species of agave and can be especially damaging to the larger species such as century plant (Agave americana) and blue agave (Agave tequilana). Optimum conditions for growth. Container grown agave plants in cooler climates are rarely effected by this pest, though. Agave plants can also suffer from a variety of diseases and pest infestations. Mealybugs and scale insects attach to the leaves and suck the juices out of them. Yucca plant bug ( Halticotoma valida ) causes similar damage to Yucca spp. Agaves and Yuccas are generally slow-growing specimen plants, and to lose one or more to these dratted pests can be heart-breaking, Pests and Diseases of Agave Pests. Low-toxic solutions of insecticidal soap and horticultural oil sprays can eradicate small infestations. Snout weevils are probably the most damaging pests to agaves and yuccas. Damaged plants begin to collapse as tissue rot develops, and they eventually die. The agave plant bug is also commonly called the agave running bug because for such a small insect, it has long legs, enabling the insect to run very quickly. Agave may stand up to the sun and dry periods well but are quite susceptible to plant-eating insects such as the agave snout weevil, soft scale and the cactus longhorn beetle. The larvae feed on the plant’s succulent core. When scales reach adulthood, they don’t move on plants, making them hard to identify. If the weather is too harsh, agave plants become dormant, shedding their leaves until they take in water again. Agave plant bugs are most likely the culprit in U.S. hardiness zones 8-10. In late summer to early fall, large populations of agave plant bugs may infest agave and other succulents, causing massive damage to a xeriscape. Agave grows best when planted in the early fall or spring. Apr 30, 2018 - Explore Sara Skold's board "Agave Plant" on Pinterest. If a plant is infested, destroy it and inform the source nursery. They have a brown narrow body, a pointed head and a white band across the back. The leaves; are shorter and wider. ... plants that have highly specialized anatomical features such as thick waxy cuticles, fleshy or minimal leaves, modified leaves (spines), and roots with extra storage capabilities for food and water. Their shiny oval bodies attach to plant stems or leaves. Agave americana: Sometimes called the century plant, it has beautiful bluish leaves with prominent, saw-tooth spines. Armored scales that attack agave include latania scale (Hemiberlesia lataniae), oleander scale (Aspidiotus nerii) and oystershell scale (Lepidosaphes ulmi). Plant Bugs Plant bugs (caulotops barberi) feed on the agave in late summer to early fall. These 1.6 mm long insects can go almost unnoticed because they are so small and will quickly hide if they feel threatened. If you tend to plants, you will naturally encounter insects. University of California, Integrated Pest Management Online: Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Agave—Agave spp. Placing a cotton sheet over your agave can also help prevent cold damage. If your agave wilts and has dark patches at leaf axils, it likely has snout weevil, a thumbnail-sized black beetle that punctures an agave's core and inserts its eggs. The roots establish in about 2 months. Agave (Agavaceae) plants create aesthetically pleasing vegetation in xeriscape gardens, spaces with low-water plants. If you have noticed bugs eating agave plants in your landscape, continue reading to learn more about Caulotops barberi pests and controlling agave plant bugs in the garden. Armored scales, soft scales and mealybugs all belong to the scale insect family. Grubs hatch, consume the core of the plant, turn it to mush, then tunnel into the ground to pupate. Agave is a desert plant, native to Mexico and hardy in zones 8-10. The adult weevil is about ½ inch (12 mm) in length, is brownishblack and has a dull body (Fig. The brownish-black insects are about a half-inch long and have long snouts. Now, agave is about as tough a plant as you’ll find, and it takes a lot of abuse to cause it to wilt. In fact, nothing kills it. The agave turns yellow, eventually killing the plant. Examine the plant for beetles and puncture holes, and the soil for grubs. These pests reproduce in the soil, and when the population gets large, the damage to your plants … Agave weberi Agave weberi is a large species 4 to 5 ft. in height by 6.5 to 10 ft. in width that has no known wild form. They are larger than scales and snout weevils, and they can grow up to an inch in length. Before planting, remove an agave from its nursery pot, set the plant (root ball and all) in a wheelbarrow, and hose the soil from the roots. Looking at pictures of scale bugs, recognizing them as insects can be tricky. Agave victoriae-reginae “compacta” – A more compact form than the species growing to 1 ft. tall and wide. What Is The Agave Snout Weevil: Tips On Controlling Snout Nosed Weevils On Agave, Different Agave Plants – Commonly Grown Agaves In Gardens, Managing Root Rot In Agave – How To Treat Agave Root Rot, Growing Indoor Calla Lilies – Care For Calla Lilies In The Home, Jade Plant Look Wrinkled – Reasons For Wrinkled Jade Leaves, Different Dieffenbachia Varieties – Different Types Of Dieffenbachia, Holly Shrubs For Zone 5: Growing Holly Plants In Zone 5, What Is Swan River Myrtle – Learn About Swan River Myrtle Cultivation, Aristolochia Pipevine Plants: Is Growing Darth Vader Flowers Possible, Banana Tree Problems: What Causes Bananas With Cracked Skin, Dream Garden Improvement - Back To Nature, Propagating Houseplants 101: Tips For Propagating Plants, Sprengeri Fern Plant: Growing Houseplants As Family Heirlooms. Sign up for our newsletter. Female snout weevils lay eggs in the base of the agave. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Infested plants have discolored leaves and retarded growth. Snout weevils are the most common pests of Agave. Plant agaves bare-root. Agave spp. If your plants have snout weevils, the only solution is to remove the plants and throw them away. The very large Agave americana or century plant is more susceptible to weevil damage than the smaller species. Eriophyid mites are well known for being host-plant specific, so it is not unusual to find two different mite species on two different but similar plant … Lauren Miller has more than 10 years of experience as a writer and editor. They are easily recognizable. Crown and root rots in agave can also be caused by an insect called the agave snout weevil, which injects bacteria into the plant as it chews on its leaves. If you notice stunted or distorted growth, speckled or spotted foliage, or what appears to be scabs or chew marks on your agave plants, you may wonder, “Are bugs on my agave?” The answer may be a resounding, yes! The flower is actually a raceme, which appears in the summertime, growing high above the foliage of the plant to a height of up to ten feet. Agave, genus of the some 200 species of the family Asparagaceae, native to arid and semiarid regions of the Americas, particularly Mexico, and the Caribbean. Agave plant bugs are most likely the culprit in U.S. hardiness zones 8-10. A preventative systemic insecticide can be used in spring to help control agave pests. Plant the pups so the root ball is covered and the leaves are right above the soil’s surface. Keep beds clear of debris to eliminate hiding places. In groups, these small tan-black colored insects are much easier to spot, but by then you’ll have quite an infestation to try to rid your landscape of and damage to some of the plants may be irreversible. They are larger than scales and snout weevils, and they can grow up to an inch in length. There, the eggs hatch into grubs, which voraciously feed on the carbohydrate laden, nutrient-rich, and often sweet-tasting, agave heart. The adult female enters the base of the plant to lay eggs. Insects and pests are a natural part of gardening. However, these tiny insects can hide in soil, mulch and garden debris around the infected plant, so it is necessary to treat all areas around the plant as well. They are characterized by a rosette of succulent or leathery leaves that range in size from a few centimeters to more than 2.5 meters (8 feet) in length. However, the agave snout weevil can burrow into a plant’s center to lay its eggs, causing the plant to collapse. Insecticides should be applied in the early morning or late at night, when Caulotops barberi pests are most active. Family Agavaceae (Agave family), University of California, Integrated Pest Management Online: Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Mealybugs, Arizona Cooperative Extension: Backyard Gardener: Pests of Agaves and Yuccas - July 23, 2008, University of Arizona Pima County Cooperative Extension: Agave Americana, Arizona State University: Virtual Library of Phoenix Landscape Plants: Agave Salmiana, University of Minnesota: CUES: Hemispherical Scale, University of California, Integrated Pest Management Online: Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Scales, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology: Animal Diversity Web: Puto Yuccae, University of California, Integrated Pest Management Online: UC Pest Management Guidelines: Pistachio Leaffooted Plant Bugs, University of California, Integrated Pest Management Online: How to Manage Pests: Pesticide Information -- Active ingredient: Soap, University of California, Integrated Pest Management Online: How to Manage Pests -- Active Ingredient: Horticultural Oil, University of Florida IFAS Extension: Scale Insects, Bugs That Are Attracted to the Pencil Cactus. Agave plants are succulents that feature thick, water-filled leaves and are used to make tequila and sweet agave syrup. Scales include three types of insects and over 1,000 species in North America. Leaf-footed Plant Bugs When leaf-footed plant bugs pierce the flesh of agave, they leave a light yellow scar on the plant. This diverse group of bugs can severely damage agave by piercing the flesh of plants and feeding on sap. The mealybug enemy of the plant is the large yucca mealybug (Puto yuccae). Soft scales that feed on agave include the hemispherical species (Saissetia coffeae). Related To: Garden Pests Tips and Hacks Gardening Plants Succulents This mature variegated form of 'Agave americana' is vulnerable to snout weevil and sudden meltdown, as are most of its close kin. Thread Leaf Agave (Agave filifera) Agave filifera, or thread leaf agave, grows in the open spaces of … Kissing bugs (Triatoma species) are smaller and don’t have the bright orange feet and orange tips on the antennae. A variegated variety, A. americana 'Marginata,' grows very large. Scale bugs are plant pests with round or oval shape and range in size from minuscule dots to large lumps. During the spring, the adult female agave snout weevil lays eggs in the base, or heart, of the agave plant. It is a Giant Agave Bug, Acanthocephala thomasi. Placing agave near a patio or wall, can keep it warm when heat radiates from the brick or concrete during the night when temperatures are the coldest. Be patient, as agave plants … Natural enemies such as parasitic wasps that eat scales may help control pest populations. They thrive in dry, hot conditions and can live for long periods without water. While generally a low maintenance, easy-to-grow plant, agave can be susceptible to fungal and bacterial rots, as well as pest problems such as the agave snout weevil and the agave plant bug (Caulotops barberi). Each location also contained aloe plants with aloe mite damage, but apparently the mites on the agave plants are not aloe mites but are a different species of eriophyid mite. Black mold grows on the honeydew, causing further damage to plants. Insecticidal soap or broad spectrum insecticides can be effective in controlling agave plant bugs. She has a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and is an avid gardener and sports fan. The leaves are wide, Apply insecticidal soap or a broad-spectrum insecticide in the early morning or late evening to control the plant bugs. In the landscape, agave plants can potentially grow to a height and spread of 20 feet. Unfortunately, you probably won’t notice this until it’s too late to save the plant. Answer: What you are seeing is the giant agave bug (Acanthocephala thomasi). The bacteria causes soft, squishy lesions in the plant where the pest then lays its eggs. They range in size from small plants that are ideal for indoors to 12-foot-tall structures with stems that can tower above leaves for up to 40 feet. Family Agavaceae (Agave family) Plant Identification. (SHNS photo by Maureen Gilmer / DIY Network) Agave filifera: This rare plant has filaments extending from its leaf tips. Snout weevils (Scyphophorus acupunctatus) are serious pests and feed on several species of agave. Avoid using plastic to cover your plants, as this causes injury to the plant where the plastic touches the leaves. Yucca—Yucca spp.