Pests of Ornamentals

These are the major groups of insects that are considered pests of ornamental plants, but don’t forget about the beneficial insects of ornamentals!

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Grasshoppers, Crickets and Katydids (Orthoptera)

Rasping Insects

Insects with rasping mouthparts feed by rasping, scraping or slicing the surface of the plant tissue and sucking out the fluids from the ruptured cells. Mites and thrips are in this category.  Read more about rasping mouthparts here.

Sucking Insects

Sucking insects feed by puncturing plant parts with long, straw-like mouthparts and removing sap, causing plant stress and sometimes making plants appear wilted.  Read more about sucking mouthparts here.

Caterpillars And Moths

Beetles (Coleoptera)

Flies (Diptera)

Ants, Bees and Wasps (Hymenoptera)

Insect and Arthropod Pests of Plants Species or Groups

Exotic Pests and Diseases

Exotic pests are species of organisms that are not not indigenous or native to an area.   Exotic pests are introduced either accidentally or intentionally to a particular region and grow to be pest status.  The significance of exotic pests depends on the species and the invaded area.  The red imported fire ant is probably the most notorious exotic pest.  Fire ants were accidentally introduced to the U.S. more than 75 years ago from South America to the shipping port of Mobile, Alabama.  See Invasive Species in Texas.