insect egg control #747942 - Ask Extension

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insect egg control #747942

Asked May 04, 2021, 1:28 PM EDT

I have a potted Meyer lemon tree that I keep in the basement in Winter.  I have had it about ten years.  It is outside now but with recent storms it was blown over.  When trying to re-pot it I found what appear to be insect eggs lining the surface of the potting media right next to the potting surface (see photos).

1. Is it insect eggs?  I have noted many more than usual aphid and fly type insect attacking it over the past winter.

2. What can I do to prevent these insect and/or eggs?  I made a insecticidal soap spray for them which seems to work, but I never imagined they were coming from this abundance of eggs.

Thank-you!

Arapahoe County Colorado

Expert Response

Thanks for your inquiry, Steve. 

1. These eggs may have been laid over the winter from summer insects that came in with your plant as you have surmised. It's difficult to tell what insect the eggs might be without an adult insect to compare.  It would also be  interesting to look at the white objects through a microscope to see if they are eggs.

2. As a preventive method, before bringing in plants for the winter, it is good to spray a plant  with water to wash away any clinging insects. Repotting the plant will help eliminate the abundance of egg-like specimens. Attached is a fact sheet discussing management of household plants.

https://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/insects/managing-houseplant-pests-5-595

3. Is there any damage to the leaves or other parts of the plant? That could also help identify a specific insect. 

Hopefully the extensive information in the fact sheet will help you correct the lemon tree's invader. 

Thanks.

Arapahoe County Master Gardeners Replied May 04, 2021, 3:59 PM EDT

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