A new invasive insect species is causing severe disfiguration of Myoporum plants. The pest Klambothrips myopori, was recently introduced to our area, is very aggressive and the leaf distortion damage is extensive.
We are managing severe infestations in several Bay area communities. If infestations are detected early and treatment timing can be implemented before damage occurs, unsightly damage and plant mortality may be avoided. The photo of the myoporum hedge show a group of shrubs which had severe leaf galling. Left untreated, the hedge would soon look like other trees in adjacent neighborhoods. Both of these pictures were taken from the same geographic area.
Foster City has been hit exceptionally hard. Further south in Santa Cruz and Monterey county, severe outbreaks have occurred.
- First found in southern CA in 2005, Hawaii and the Bay area in 2008
- Native to Australia and New Zealand
- Causes severe galling of leaves
- Control strategies have been established
- Important to treat early in infestation cycle to obtain best results
Contact Tree Solutions staff if you need more information and/or think your trees are infested by this pest.
Update: Treatment has proven so difficult, this shrub may have to be taken off the list of suitable landscape species. Control has been successful only if infestation is detected early and damage is minimal prior to treatment.
Control requires annual applications of systemic pesticide imidacloprid or other neonicotinoid choices. Controversy surrounds use of neonicotinoid insecticides due to the fact it also kills beneficial insects such as bees and ladybird beetle species.
We suggest alternative shrub choice and removal and replacement of Myoporum shrubs already growing in the landscape. Although entomologists may be able to locate and distribute natural predators, we believe this option will be too little too late.