Eriophyid mites are well known for being host-plant specific, so it is not unusual to find two different mite species on two different but similar plant … Container grown agave plants in cooler climates are rarely effected by this pest, though. Problems and Pests of Agave, Aloe, Cactus and Yucca AZ 1399 Revised 03/11. Agave, genus of the some 200 species of the family Asparagaceae, native to arid and semiarid regions of the Americas, particularly Mexico, and the Caribbean. They are larger than scales and snout weevils, and they can grow up to an inch in length. They are easily recognizable. Placing a cotton sheet over your agave can also help prevent cold damage. The agave snout weevil (Scyphophorus acupunctatus), also known as the sisal weevil, feeds on many species of agave and can be especially damaging to the larger species such as century plant (Agave americana) and blue agave (Agave tequilana). Agave and yucca plants do well in well-drained soil with little water. During cold weather, they find protected areas such as woodpiles, tree trunk cracks and piles of debris. When you touch it, the plant will feel firmly attached to the ground. Scale bugs are plant pests with round or oval shape and range in size from minuscule dots to large lumps. The very large Agave americana or century plant is more susceptible to weevil damage than the smaller species. Agave may stand up to the sun and dry periods well but are quite susceptible to plant-eating insects such as the agave snout weevil, soft scale and the cactus longhorn beetle. If your agave wilts and has dark patches at leaf axils, it likely has snout weevil, a thumbnail-sized black beetle that punctures an agave's core and inserts its eggs. Now, agave is about as tough a plant as you’ll find, and it takes a lot of abuse to cause it to wilt. Go to the Agave Snout Weevil page Aloe mite on Aloe arborescens 'Variegata' The larvae feed on the plant’s succulent core. Crown and root rots in agave can also be caused by an insect called the agave snout weevil, which injects bacteria into the plant as it chews on its leaves. Before planting, remove an agave from its nursery pot, set the plant (root ball and all) in a wheelbarrow, and hose the soil from the roots. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. The leaves; are shorter and wider. If your plants have snout weevils, the only solution is to remove the plants and throw them away. Controlling the presence of agave bugs includes a mixture of methods. Commercially available spray pesticides that are stronger can kill pests, but they may damage nearby plants and kill beneficial insects. Female snout weevils lay eggs in the base of the agave. The agave turns yellow, eventually killing the plant. Related To: Garden Pests Tips and Hacks Gardening Plants Succulents This mature variegated form of 'Agave americana' is vulnerable to snout weevil and sudden meltdown, as are most of its close kin. Similar in appearance to cacti, agave are succulent perennials with fleshy, spiny leaves that are sometimes lined with sharp teeth. Scales include three types of insects and over 1,000 species in North America. If the weather is too harsh, agave plants become dormant, shedding their leaves until they take in water again. While generally a low maintenance, easy-to-grow plant, agave can be susceptible to fungal and bacterial rots, as well as pest problems such as the agave snout weevil and the agave plant bug (Caulotops barberi). Insecticides should be applied in the early morning or late at night, when Caulotops barberi pests are most active. Armored scales, soft scales and mealybugs all belong to the scale insect family. Overview Information Agave is a plant found in parts of the US, as well as Mexico, Central and South America, the Mediterranean, and some parts of India. Agave americana: Sometimes called the century plant, it has beautiful bluish leaves with prominent, saw-tooth spines. Optimum conditions for growth. Black mold grows on the honeydew, causing further damage to plants. It has very wide and showy markings compared to the species. Soft scales that feed on agave include the hemispherical species (Saissetia coffeae). These 1.6 mm long insects can go almost unnoticed because they are so small and will quickly hide if they feel threatened. Plant Bugs Plant bugs (caulotops barberi) feed on the agave in late summer to early fall. In the landscape, agave plants can potentially grow to a height and spread of 20 feet. Agave Borer Weevil, (also known as the Agave Snout Weevil) and the Yucca weevil are devastating insect pests to members of the Agave and Yucca genera. They have a hard covering to protect their bodies and the eggs of females. Leaves are fleshy or tough and long. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. They are easily recognizable. They are larger than scales and snout weevils, and they can grow up to an inch in length. Lauren Miller has more than 10 years of experience as a writer and editor. Agaves and Yuccas are generally slow-growing specimen plants, and to lose one or more to these dratted pests can be heart-breaking, Keep beds clear of debris to eliminate hiding places. The brownish-black insects are about a half-inch long and have long snouts. It is a Giant Agave Bug, Acanthocephala thomasi. A variegated variety, A. americana 'Marginata,' grows very large. In groups, these small tan-black colored insects are much easier to spot, but by then you’ll have quite an infestation to try to rid your landscape of and damage to some of the plants may be irreversible. 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