5 Plant Pest Problems For Maryland Gardens

large rose aphid

5 Plant Pest Problems That Will Give You Headaches

Maryland gardens are faced with many plant pest problems. While it is practically impossible to recognize and know all of them, one can learn the ones that will inflict the most damage.

Every plant gets some diseases and has some insects that are going to do damage to it. That is nature. Be that as it may, most plants have that one pest that stands above all the others as a threat. The rest of the diseases and insects may be a threat, but probably not quite as severe as the one’s we are calling the Achilles Heel.

Instead of learning all of the potential threats to a plant variety, focus in on the one that will do the most harm and put the plant variety at most risk. By focusing on managing these plant pest problems, you will have taken great steps in the overall health of your landscape.

Burning Bush – Spider Mites


Spider Mites are tiny (smaller than a pin head) relatives of spiders. In mid-summer, the damage they are causing to Burning Bushes will reveal itself by the planting turning tan color with a stippling pattern on the upper leaf surface. The spider mites are literally sucking the life out of the plant.

Controls Red Spider Mites

  • Apply dormant oil in later winter to cover overwintering adults and eggs.
  • Spray horticultural oil and insecticidal soaps during the summer.

Powdery Mildew – Lilacs


Powdery Mildew is a common disease that appears during the late spring and summer when weather conditions are right for it. It is easily diagnosed as a white, powdery coating on leaves and possibly some stems. It rarely causes serious damage but it can cause defoliation and weakening of plants, creating an opportunity for other pests to invade.

Controls for Powdery Mildew

  • Select resistant plant varieties.
  • Improve air flow through thinning.
  • Horticultural oils and neem oils can help prevent Powdery Mildew when applied prior to infection.

Manhattan Euonymus – Scale


Euonymus Scale is a very common and once you see it, an obvious pest. Tiny white fleck will appear on leaves and stems of the infected plants. In time, it will absolutely cover the entire plant which will decline rapidly.



Controls for Euonymus Scale

  • Apply dormant oil in later winter to cover overwintering adults and eggs.
  • Spray horticultural oil in May through June to suffocate crawlers (young scales).
  • An imported specie of lady beetle, Chilocorus kuwanae, has also proven effective.

Azaleas – Lace Bug


Lace Bugs are piercing/sucking insects meaning their mouth parts are shaped like hypodermic needles which are used to pierce into the plant tissue and suck out the juices. Azalea Lace Bug damage is most prevalent on plants that are planted in full sun. Being a shade loving plant, Azaleas planted in full sun tend to be more stressed out, making them more susceptible to pest problems. The easiest way to prevent Azalea Lace Bugs is to plant Azaleas in their culturally correct environment; shade to partial shade.

The damage appears on he leaves as a chlorotic bleached out coloring with stippling of darker tiny spots. The insect and its eggs are actually on the underside of the plant. Turn an affected leaf over and you will see them.

Controls for Azalea Lace Bug

  • Dormant oil, horticultural oil, insecticidal soaps all work well. There are several pesticides that will work also. Make sure to spray the underside of leaves.

Roses – Japanese Beetle


Japanese Beetles begin to appear in early June and begin eating voraciously right away. They are chewing insects and the damage skeletonizes leaves, leaving only the veins. Japanese Beetles are about ¼” long with shiny copper colored bodies.

Controls For Japanese Beetles

There are several effective strategies available to control Japanese Beetles:

  • Before Japanese Beetles emerge, they are grubs that live under your lawn and in your garden beds. Controlling the grubs will help prevent the beetles.
  • Hand picking the beetles from the plants and putting them in a bucket of soapy water is effective.
  • Traps are available that attract the adult beetles with a pheromone bait works well. There are also several
  • Apply Neem Oil as soon as beetles appear.
  • There are several pesticides in the pyrethrin class available.

Arborvitae – Bagworm


You will probably not ever see the bagworms themselves, but you will see the home they make. The bags are brown, 2” long, and constructed of dead leaves. Inside, the adults lays over 1,000 eggs which hatch in late spring and the larvae soon emerge to start the cycle over.

Bagworm caterpillars are chewing insects and can defoliate large areas of host plants. The adult is a moth.

Controls for Bagworms

  • Hand picking off the bags and disposing of them.
  • Horticultural oils and insecticidal soaps are effective in late May to early June when the young caterpillars are crawling around as are insecticides in the pyrethroid class.


Allentuck Landscaping Co. is Your Residential Landscape Company

Phone: 301-515-1900 Email: info@allentucklandscaping.com

At Allentuck Landscaping Company, our mission is to create beautiful environments for people to enjoy. We see landscaping as a way to improve people’s lives.

The Allentuck Landscaping Company team has been a leading landscape company in Montgomery County, Maryland for over 28 years with our turnkey approach to landscape design, installation, construction and maintenance. Most companies try to serve many types of customers at the same time; homeowners, shopping centers, office buildings and the list goes on. At Allentuck Landscaping Co., we focus on one customer, you, the homeowner. We have a singular focus on bringing you the best landscape practices, the best customer service, and the best value for your home.

Services Provide – Master Landscape Plans, Complete Maintenance Programs, Plantings, Patios, Walkways, Retaining Walls, Water Features, Outdoor Lighting, Outdoor Kitchens, Trellises & Pergolas, Irrigation Systems, Drainage Solutions, Grading & Sodding. Fire Pits & Fire Places, Spring Clean Ups, Decks, Fences, Mosquito & Tick Control, Deer Control.

Areas Served – Chevy Chase, Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville, North Potomac, Darnestown, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Damascus, Boyds, Clarksburg, Ijamsville, Urbana, Frederick in Maryland and Washington DC.

6 Plants For A Deer Resistant Plant Screen

6 Plants For Creating a Deer Resistant Plant Screen Are you tired of your garden becoming a buffet for local deer? Fear not! Creating a Deer Resistant Plant Screen is your ticket to reclaiming your outdoor space. By strategically selecting plants that deer tend to avoid, you can build a lush and protective barrier that keeps these hungry visitors at bay. In this guide, we’ll unveil six resilient plant species that not only thrive in various garden settings but also


My Crape Myrtle Looks Dead

My Crape Myrtle Looks Dead. Should I Worry? Crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia) are renowned for their stunning blooms, vibrant foliage, and resilience in various climates. These deciduous shrubs or small trees are beloved additions to many gardens, offering beauty from spring to fall. In our area, Crape Myrtles are treasured as one of the only types of trees that blooms in the late summer. Understandably, losing a Crape Myrtle from one’s garden is a big loss. Crape Myrtles are also one


Project Spotlight: Hardscape & Drainage Solutions

Your Leading Hardscape and Drainage Contractor Met Two Challenges for This Homeowner As a full-service landscaper, our team at Allentuck Landscaping Company is ready to lend our expertise in improving any outdoor space. We’re the go-to contractor across our complete selection of services, but we’re well known as hardscape and drainage experts.  For today’s Project Spotlight, we’re sharing two separate projects we completed for a homeowner in North Potomac. We solved a major drainage challenge that was threatening the home,


Why Now Is the Time to Book Landscape Cleanup & Maintenance Services

In Need of Landscape Cleanup & Maintenance Services? Book Before Calendars Fill As the winter weather begins to thaw, spring is approaching. And while spring may be the time for cleaning your house, the tail end of winter is the best time to book landscape cleanup and maintenance services. Winter leaves behind debris and will typically leave your landscaping and lawn looking a bit ragged. Not only that, but there’s quite a bit of preparation that must be completed to


5 Essential Elements for an Amazing Outdoor Design

Insights Into How To Create An Amazing Outdoor Design Quality outdoor design can transform your outdoor space into a captivating oasis involves a careful blend of design elements that cater to both aesthetics and functionality. From the warmth of a fire pit to the allure of outdoor lighting, the freshness of greenery, the comfort of shade under a pergola, and the practicality of an outdoor kitchen, these five components can turn any yard into a haven for relaxation and entertainment.


7 Front Walkway Ideas To Make Your Home More Welcoming

These Front Walkway Ideas Will Make You Glad To Come Home Making your home feel brand new can be as simple as updating the curb appeal. At Allentuck Landscaping, we’ve designed and installed a variety of front walkways over the years, and today we’ve gathered a few of our favorites to showcase. Each walkway features a unique pattern or material combination. We hope these front walkway ideas spark some brilliant ideas inside of you, and, of course, we hope you