insect ID + advice with flaky bark bonsais

LeoMame

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Hello Bonsai people,

this morning I spotted 3 or 4 of these tiny insects on the trunk of one my JRP, and as I have no idea of what they could be, let's see if anyone might have some suggestions.

These are dark red, not really moving (but when removed from the tree I could see some wee legs moving) and soft. They were just on the bark, easy to spot because of the color; they are not those red mites who move super fast. Also they were only on the bark, not on the foliage. I will double check this afternoon tho. And they were in the number of 3 or 4.

This brought my attention to the fact that with flaky bark trees is quite complicated to monitor the wood and be sure that no insect will nest between the scales of the bark itself, in fact I found some whitish spots here and there, that could possibly be nests/eggs from other insects. Nothing major, the tree looks healthy, but I wanted to ask you what you do to keep a flaky bark/trunk free of pests? Is it all about prevention? Systemic products?

Let me know, I'll attach some photos of the insect, I understand the quality is not ideal but they are really, really tiny (and my phone's camera is really really poor).

Thanks for any help!

Leo


IMG_3061.JPGIMG_3059.JPG
 

Potawatomi13

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May be Spider Mites. Look up on internet. Also magnify and see if having more than 6 legs. If only 6 legs present possibly nymph of some true bug. Should be able to eradicate with insecticidal soap🧐if so desired.
 

LeoMame

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look like a clove mite https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bryobia_praetiosa they are the less destructive cousins of the spider mite use a treatment labeled for spider mites

I've seen clover mites around my house and my garden, these look like the fat cousins of them... they are almost immobile, and look like loners, I didn't find any clusters or groups.

If I find some more I'll check the number of legs to assess if they're mites or insects, but tbh they don't look like any pest I've studied or encountered in my life as a gardener/bonsaist.

Pictures don't help tho, I see that 'mites' would be number one guess, but in real life they look a bit different.

Thanks!
 

Lutonian

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I've seen clover mites around my house and my garden, these look like the fat cousins of them... they are almost immobile, and look like loners, I didn't find any clusters or groups.

If I find some more I'll check the number of legs to assess if they're mites or insects, but tbh they don't look like any pest I've studied or encountered in my life as a gardener/bonsaist.

Pictures don't help tho, I see that 'mites' would be number one guess, but in real life they look a bit different.

Thanks!
your right clove mites move around fast (for there size) there are hundreds of types of mites and ticks that can be confused for each other.

The fact they are not fast moving would most likely rule out that they are predators, so could be feeding off your tree.

If you tree is on a bench it probably wont be tick nymphs either as these like to hang out in long grass looking for their next victim.
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sorce

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Looks closest to that soil mite, likely ran up the trunk to escape a watering.

Sorce
 

sorce

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Wouldn't that bite you?

I got my first tick a couple days ago. Daughter too, though hers was just on clothes. We went down onto this culvert to chase snakes and when we came back up, one of those little effers was on the top of my shoe, waving it's little arms for a ride!

Boy found a praying mantis.

20210705_123955.jpg

End Story Time.

Sorce
 

LeoMame

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Looks closest to that soil mite, likely ran up the trunk to escape a watering.

Sorce

I was about to water the tree when I spotted them, the soil was pretty dry in fact. But yes, it actually looks similar!
 

Lutonian

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Wouldn't that bite you?

I got my first tick a couple days ago. Daughter too, though hers was just on clothes. We went down onto this culvert to chase snakes and when we came back up, one of those little effers was on the top of my shoe, waving it's little arms for a ride!

Boy found a praying mantis.

View attachment 384883

End Story Time.

Sorce
Chigger nymphs feed on people, adults feed on insects and there eggs. Ticks are a pain try pulling one out of your nut sack after walking through long grass in shorts lol if you got bit keep any eye out for bullseye rashes incase of lymes disease
 

sorce

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Chigger nymphs feed on people, adults feed on insects and there eggs. Ticks are a pain try pulling one out of your nut sack after walking through long grass in shorts lol

Eeeee! (Rechecks)

That is a nutsack that may end up scratching patina off your pot!😉

Sorce
 

Wires_Guy_wires

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if you got bit keep any eye out for bullseye rashes incase of lymes disease
And in Asia as well as Europe since a couple years, no bulls eye rashes and full blown encephalitis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick-borne_encephalitis
I'm not a big fan of it, but I'm spraying DEET whenever I enter tick territory. I refuse to be hospitalized by these suckers again.
 

Lutonian

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And in Asia as well as Europe since a couple years, no bulls eye rashes and full blown encephalitis. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tick-borne_encephalitis
I'm not a big fan of it, but I'm spraying DEET whenever I enter tick territory. I refuse to be hospitalized by these suckers again.
Didn't know about that disease its not in the UK but good to know as I do travel (not at the moment due to covid)
 

LeoMame

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I follow up on this thread because I have better pictures of the insects. There are very few, like 3-4 max 5 at a time, they're slow, squishy, dark red and located exclusively on the bark of this pine, couldn't spot any around the foliage or on thinner branches.
Here you go. Thoughts??

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Bnana

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These are mites but not spider mites (the harmful ones).
They most likely feed on algae or things like that. No reason to worry. They are definitely not able to damage your bark.

There are things living outside and they are on your trees as well. That's no reason to start spraying chemicals.
You should only treat trees when there is an issue an when you have healthy trees that will rarely be the case.
 

AJL

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Didn't know about that disease its not in the UK but good to know as I do travel (not at the moment due to covid)
Oh yes its here in UK! Known as Lyme Disease, mostly spread by deer ticks up in the moors! Tuck your trouser bottoms into your socks when you go hiking!
 

Lutonian

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Oh yes its here in UK! Known as Lyme Disease, mostly spread by deer ticks up in the moors! Tuck your trouser bottoms into your socks when you go hiking!
yes we have lyme's disease in the U.K, not tick born encephalitis though which my comment was in reference to.

They are two different diseases
 
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Bnana

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Tick Born Encephalitis is in the UK but is very rare and not a significant risk at the moment.
Lyme disease is widespread and a big risk when you're outside a lot.
 

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