June 14, 2010
Mr. Marlos, as the foremost bug expert in Los Angeles, can you tell me what insect (or arachnid, though I doubt it) makes these strange white drippy “webs?” This is a close-up of the ivy on my back fence. A couple seasons ago it was literally covered in them. I’m stumped.
Dear Mr. Kulkis,
How nice to hear from you. Alas, you have Giant Whitefly, Aleurodicus dugesii, a freeliving Hemipteran that is native to Mexico, but since 1992, it have become established in California, Arizona, Florida and Texas. Immature Nymphs produce waxy filaments as long as two inches that resemble cotton candy according to BugGuide. We strongly recommend removing them with the strong jet from a hose. Diligence with your hose will ensure that they will not become established as they can quickly infest many plants in the yard.
Thank you very much for the sage advice Mr. Marlos. And wow, congrats on the book! Penguin no less, that’s big time. Send me a link when it’s available for pre-sale on Amazon and I’ll support the cause.