Landscape & Ornamental Pests

Biology and Management

Effective management of insect pests of ornamentals requires proper diagnosis of the problem. Often we can make reliable diagnoses based on damage that insects cause. The most reliable diagnosis requires identification of the insect or mite itself. Diagnosis based on symptoms can be divided into damage categories as follows:

  • tattered leaves or flowers
  • stippled, bleached or bronzed foliage
  • die back of plant parts
  • evidence of insects themselves

Pests responsible for each category include:

  • Tattered leaves or flowers can be caused by grasshoppers, caterpillars, adult or immature beetles.
  • Stippled, bleached or bronzed foliage may be caused by insects with piercing mouth parts such as lace bugs or plant bugs. Mites or thrips may also cause this type of damage.
  • Die back of plant parts is often caused by scale insects or by beetles or moth larvae that bore inside the stems.
  • Evidence of insects themselves may be webs, tents, cases, flocculence (cottony material), frass (fecal material), sawdust.

Major Pests of Ornamentals in Landscapes and Nurseries

Granulate ambrosia beetleYesYes
Brown marmorated stink bugYes
Japanese maple scaleYes
Azalea bark scaleYes
Japanese beetleYes
Grass lace bugYes
Tea scaleYesYes
Mites of rose rosette virusYes
Redheaded flea beetleYes
Chilli thripsYes
Larger canna leafrollerYes
Fall webwormYes
Lantana lace bugYes
Flatheaded apple borerYesYes
Dogwood borerYesYes
Wax scaleYesYes


Granulate Ambrosia Beetle

Xylosandrus crassiusculus (Mot.)

Photo credit: Shimat V Joseph, University of Georgia.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Halyomorpha halys (Stål)

Photo credit: Shimat V Joseph, University of Georgia.

Scales in Ornamentals

Photo credit: Shimat V Joseph, University of Georgia.

Japanese Maple Scale

Lopholeucaspis japonica Cockerell 

Photo credit: Brian Kunkel, University of Delaware.


Photo credit: Shimat V Joseph, University of Georgia.

Azalea Bark Scale

Eriococcus azalea (Comstock)

Photo credit: Clemson University – USDA Cooperative Extension Slide Series,


Photo credit: Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Forestry,

Japanese Beetle

Popillia japonica Newman

Photo credit: Shimat Joseph, University of Georgia,

Grass Lace Bug

Photo: Kris Braman, University of Georgia.

Thrips Species

Photo credit: Jack T. Reed, Mississippi State University,

Tea Scale

Fiorinia theae Green

Photo credit: Lorraine Graney, Bartlett Tree Experts,

Mite Vector of Rose Rosette Virus

Phyllocoptes fructiphilus Keifer

Photo credit: Gary R. Bauchan, USDA-ARS

Redheaded Flea Beetle

Systena frontalis (F.)

Photo credit: Shimat Joseph, University of Georgia

Chilli Thrips

Scirtothrips dorsalis Hood

Photo credit: Andrew Derksen, USDA-APHIS

Larger Canna Leafroller

Calpodes ethlius (Stoll)

Photo credit: Shimat Joseph, University of Georgia

Fall Webworm

Hyphantria cunea (Drury)

Photo credit: G. Keith Douce, University of Georgia

Lantana Lace Bug

Teleonemia scrupulosa Stål

Photo credit: Shimat Joseph, University of Georgia

Flatheaded Apple Borer

Chrysobothris femorata (Olivier)

Photo credit: Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University.


Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius)

Photo credit: Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service,

Dogwood Borer

Synanthedon scitula (Harris)

Photo credit: NY State Ag Experiment Station.

Wax Scale

Ceroplastes spp.

Photo credit: Joseph LaForest, University of Georgia,