Redbanded Thrips Strike Again!
Pests seen recently: mites on Italian cypress; chilli thrips heavily attacking pieris, mahonia bealii, camellia sasanqua, and nandina, also seen on oakleaf hydrangea; redheaded flea beetles heavily feeding on loropetalum, sweet olive, hydrangea, and ‘Sky Pencil’ holly; flea beetles (small black ones) feeding on 3G crapemyrtles.
Redbanded thrips are showing up all over on azaleas. They were first seen in this area the week of April 13, 2015, as very small populations on azalea liners in two locations in Wilmer. In the last month I have seen them in landscapes in west Mobile, Theodore, at the Loxley Civic Center, and at a home in Lillian. The picture below shows two 3G Hino azaleas with a healthy gardenia radicans as a reference for green color. Heavily infested plants appear gray/white/silvery in color.
These pictures are from Loxley. Initial symptoms resemble mite or lace bug damage. Black adults can be seen on the upper surfaces of leaves. Tapping the foliage over a white surface is the best way to scout for these pests.