"ash bugs" #281004 - Ask Extension


"ash bugs" #281004

Asked September 27, 2015, 3:20 PM EDT

Hi. I live in SW Portland and over the past 3 weeks-for the first time in my 20 years at this same address- there have been swarms of teeny white moth-like insects everywhere. I have not succeeded in nabbing one to put under magnification, so really have no further visual id information. I live in Markham Neighborhood and via a SW Portland neighborhood blog, similar sightings have occurred in a 5 miles radius of my address. situation. When I first saw the insects, I thought someone was burning something and this was ash fallout circulating in the breeze. With increasing numbers, however I realized these were moving on their own. They appear near the end of the day into dusk. I have not seen them attracted to any particular source or foliage. Any clue as to what these insects are?

Multnomah County Oregon

Expert Response

Many people in our region have noticed clouds of the same speck-sized flying insects during the past several weeks.  They were recently identified as ash whiteflies, Siphoninus phillyreae, potentially serious pests of ash trees and certain other woody plants. These insects were first reported to be in the Willamette Valley during 2014. Very little is known at this time about how damaging ash whitefly will be in our region or what sort of management may be needed. This new webpage for commercial growers has some background information and images of infested leaves: http://oregonstate.edu/dept/nurspest/Ash_whitefly.html. Treatment, if needed, should be applied to infested leaves.

Jean R. Natter Replied September 27, 2015, 8:11 PM EDT
Thanks so much for the information. I will pass it on to my neighbors.
The Question Asker Replied September 27, 2015, 9:49 PM EDT

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