Growing an avocado tree is hard work with the best reward: avocados! Whether you grow your avocado tree indoors, in a pot, or outside, you need to give it the best care possible to thrive and produce everyone’s favorite superfruit. One of the most significant issues to deal with is avocado tree pests. Read on to learn about 5 common avocado tree pests and how to prevent their infestations.
Avocado Tree Pests
Here are a few insects that you need to look out for on your avocado tree.
Lace bugs come and go on avocado trees, but these avocado tree pests can damage the leaves. The spots where lace bugs feed turn yellow and dry out, causing the leaves to fall off. This leaf drop exposes the wood and fruit to harmful ultraviolet rays. When lace bugs appear on your avocado tree, spray pyrethrin or horticultural oils on your tree as treatment.
Like lace bugs, mites cause yellow spots on leaves. They also may, however, cause leaves to turn a bronze color. These avocado tree poets are challenging to see with the naked eye, though you may see fine webbing that the mites spin as they feed. To treat a mite infestation on your avocado tree, treat them with horticultural oil. Do not use insecticides as these can cause a population explosion.
Caterpillars may become beautiful butterflies, but they can seriously harm your avocado tree. These avocado tree pests can attack leaves, flowers, and delicious avocado fruit. These feisty critters can cause considerable damage in a short time. You might see the caterpillars, or you might see only the folded-over leaves tied with silk where they wrap themselves to feed. These leaf-and-silk cocoons provide a protected area for the caterpillars, and to get rid of them you need to spray Bacillus thuringiensis, also known as Bt pest control, into these cocoons.
Avocado Tree Pests: Borers
Borers are so0named because they tunnel into avocado trees. These avocado tree pests leave obvious entrance holes in the tree bark that may leak sap. Branches affected by borers break easily. Since borers target weak avocado trees, the best defense against these pests is to keep your avocado tree healthy. If you are already dealing with an infestation, cut off the infected branches as soon as possible and immediately dispose of them.
Thrips may not cause very much damage to the avocado tree itself, but they can seriously affect the fruit. Thrips cause leathery or scabby brown scars to form on fruits that appear as the fruits grow. If severe enough, these scars can stunt the fruits completely, seriously threatening your yield. Thrips are particularly attracted to tender new growth, so careful pruning and fertilizing can prevent a thrip infestation. Once a tree is infected with thrips, treat the infestation with horticultural oil or pyrethrin.
Take Care of Avocado Tree Pests
When you take care of avocado tree pests and other issues facing your avocado grove, your trees take care of you. When taken care of appropriately, your avocado trees will provide you with one of nature’s healthiest fruits.