Roots, Shoots, Fruits & Flowers: Sap-feeding Insects, Young Ladybeetle, Grasshopper ID & Fall Cabbage


Aphids infesting a hibiscus petal. Photo: LSU AgCenter

Sap-feeding Insects

Chaery works at a garden center and wanted assistance, “I am having major issues with aphids and mealy bugs…. I have used Marathon® and Bayer 3 in 1 insect spray® [without success]. What do you recommend!?”

The AgCenter recommends, “When needed, control aphids [and mealybugs] with sprays of light horticultural oils (Year-Round Spray Oil, All Seasons Oil) or insecticidal soap.”

In Chaery’s case, she sprayed products labeled for treating aphids and mealybugs. Marathon® can also be used as a soil drench that the plant can take up through its roots. However, the Bayer® produce has no label for soil drenching.


A juvenile form of a ladybeetle. Photo: Shannon Gorum.

Young Ladybeetle

“My name is Shannon…. Our crape myrtle leaves are turning yellow, dropping a sticky substance and have these insects all over the underside of its leaves. Can you help with identifying what they are and how to get rid of them?”

Victoria Bayless, an entomologist with LSU, helped identify Shannon’s insect, “That is not a crepe myrtle problem but a crepe myrtle solution! That is a ladybeetle pupa…. they are feeding on aphids [and] I suspect maybe on scale [insects. It is ] nice to see some good guys occasionally 😊”


Obscure bird grasshopper. Photo: Christy Frederic, Master Gardener, Pineville, LA.

Grasshopper ID

Christy, a regular reader of RSFF, has shared another email with a clear picture of an insect in her landscape, “[This grasshopper] seems a bit east of this bug’s range? Or maybe not, [Is it] a white-lined [bird grasshopper]? [I] have only seen this one individual. The antennae are stretched out horizontally in the picture with the water drops. Maybe it got splashed? [It] appears to like the crinum leaves….”

Again, Ms. Bayless helped with the ID, “It is the obscure bird grasshopper[OBG]. One of the most common ones we have in the collection from Louisiana.” The OBG is native to the southeastern United States. The Oklahoma State University Extension website provided more information about the bird grasshoppers, “The bird grasshoppers are among the largest species of grasshoppers with short antennae (short-horned grasshoppers). Their bright colors and long-distance flights occur throughout Oklahoma. These grasshoppers feed on a wide array of garden plants, shrubs and trees making them among the most frequently noticed grasshoppers across the state. Although they lack true swarming characteristics [that] the related locusts of Africa possess, they can occasionally become pests of orchards and rangeland.”


Cabbage grows well in fall & winter. Photo: Dr. Kiki Fontenot, LSU AgCenter.

Fall Cabbage

Bobby in DeRidder asked, “Which is the best kind of cabbage to grow here in La? Earlier the better. I am going to start my own from seed soon. Thanks.”

AHA checked with the AgCenter’s Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide, page 6, to find the cabbage varieties best suited for our hot, humid growing conditions:

  • Early maturing: Blue Vantage (BR, DM, FY), Platinum Dynasty (BR,FY), Stonehead (AAS)
  • Later maturing: Cheers (BR,FY), Blue Dynasty (BR,FY), Emblem (BR,FY), , Rio Verde,
  • Savoy type: King (AAS)
  • AAS=All America Selection; BR=Black rot resistant; DM = Downy mildew resistant; FY=Fusarium yellows resistant.

Louisiana Vegetable Planting Guide recommends a fall planting window from 8/15 to 11/30. Also, this planting guide is a free, downloadable publication from the AgCenter website,

If you want to contact Roots, Shoots, Fruits, and Flowers, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337.284.5188 or

“Before you buy or use an insecticide product, first read the label, and strictly follow label recommendations. Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute endorsement by Louisiana State University AgCenter.”

“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”

8/24/2022 4:51:48 PM
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