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Is your valuable landscape suffering from damages caused by plant pests? Sandwich Isle offers a variety of landscape foliage and ornamental plant pest management programs that are easy on the environment yet highly effective in eliminating mealy bugs and aphids as well as other plant pests common in Hawaii.
At Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions, we employ multiple control strategies to provide quick relief and long lasting protection.
Foliar Applications – Used to provide quick relief and a short-term residual protection
Root Applications – Designed to provide long lasting protection by allowing the plant to take up the material systemically
We focus control efforts on the target insect pests that cause plant damage; careful consideration is given to sparing beneficial insects, some of which may actually prey upon the pests. Pests covered include:
Whiteflies are one of the most common plant pests in Hawaii. They are small, generally white or light colored insects with over 1500 species worldwide. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts they use to suck the fluids from plants, usually on the undersides of leaves. Because of these piercing-sucking mouthparts, they are capable of transmitting some plant diseases to many of our desirable home and agricultural plants, just like a mosquito can spread certain diseases from person to person!
Whiteflies feed by piercing into the tissue of plants and injecting their toxic saliva which breaks down plant material and then suck up and feed on. This causes the structure of the plant to break down and weaken. Because of this and the fact that whiteflies often congregate in huge numbers, plants can easily become overwhelmed and even develop mold because of the honeydew the whiteflies secrete.
Mealybugs are like scale insects, but without the armor. Like scale insects, aphids and whiteflies, these insects have piercing-sucking mouthparts, which they use to drain the plant of it's fluids and nutrients and often accidentally spread plant disease as they do so. Females and males look very different than each other. Females are wingless and look like nymphs, even into adulthood. However, unlike scale insects, mealybug females often keep their legs and are free to move about. Males, on the other hand, develop wings when they become adults and are sometimes described as "wasp-like" (although they are not related to wasps, nor can they sting) or like "fluffy gnats" (to which they are also not related). Like other sucking pests, they drain plant fluids, but female mealybugs also leave behind a distinct white powdery wax residue that protects them while they feed.
Aphids, closely related to whiteflies, also have piercing-sucking mouthparts. There are over 4,400 species in the world, 250 of which are serious pests for plant growers. Many aphids will only feed on one species of plant while others will feed on hundreds of different species of plants. Aphids feed by piercing into the tissue of plants and injecting their toxic saliva which breaks down plant material for the aphid to suck up and feed on.
Aphid damage can result in a variety of symptoms, including molted, wilted, or curled leaves, discolorations such as browning or yellowing and stunted plant growth or crop yield. In addition, they secrete a sticky substance called honeydew that is unattractive and can result in mold growth. Like whitefly, aphids are a major pest not only due to the damage they cause, but because they are vectors for hundreds of plant diseases. In fact, it was aphids responsible for the Irish potato famine of the mid 19th century!
Thrips are in an insect order all their own- thysanoptera, or "fringe wing" insects. Thrips can be pests of plants or animals, depending on the species. There are over 5,000 described species, many of which are beneficial insects, feeding on pest insects or mites. They are cigar-shaped, generally very tiny (less than 1mm) and often clumsy flyers. Thrips have unique, asymmetrical mouthparts unique to this group of insects. In the right conditions, thrips can occur in large numbers, creating a great annoyance for humans or animals.
While some thrips are predatory, other species are plant pests, feeding on pollen and buds of new growth. Their feeding causes developmental problems for flowers, vegetables and other plant parts, as well as discoloration, deformation and reduced asetetic properties for crops. In addition, thrips are responsible for a handful of plant diseases. As an interesting fact: the singular form of thrips-is thrips! There is no such thing as a "thrip".
Scale insects are in the same order of insects with whiteflies and aphids; this means they also will have the piercing-sucking mouthparts that are so damaging to plants. There are over 8,000 described species across the world, most of which are plant parasites. They vary in appearance and size, but are generally found cemented to plants: this is the most obvious sign of scale infestation. Scale are most easily identified by their scale-like covering which they secrete to cement themselves to plants. Because of this waxy shell, scale insects are very difficult to control through conventional means. Only the females create the "scale" over themselves for protection and remain underneath for the rest of their lives. They are immobile, remaining in this same shell permanently. The males can sometimes fly, but never feed. They just mate with the females and die after they've lived 1-2 days. The immatures, or "nymphs" are mobile as they look for a place to settle down.
At Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions, we offer our landscape foliage and ornamental pest management for homes and businesses in Honolulu, as well as all of Oahu and portions of Big Island. To learn more about our plant pest programs or to ask us about our special fruit bearing tree applications, please contact Sandwich Isle Pest Solutions today!