What Are The Small Insects On The Flowers?

by Barbara Wade
(United Kingdom)

What are the small black insect pests that leave a brown stain and a sticky residue on the backs of the flowers?

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Nov 07, 2011
Maybe Scale?
by: Melissa

Hi Barbara,

Thanks for your question.

It would be easier for me to help identify these pests if I could see a picture. If you can take a digital picture and upload one that would be great.

Scale pests can be blackish, or brown or beige. They do produce a sticky honeydew type substance on the back of leaves and flowers. Aphids can also exude a sticky substance but they usually have wings. Aphids can be a number of colors, black, orange, green or brown.

Mealybugs also can produce honeydew but they are usually white and often have little tails.

Hope this is somewhat helpful.

You can try to reduce the population of whatever insect it is by using a "safer soap" type product. Or you can remove the offending insects with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. But usually with most insects you will need to continue treating the plant as what will either discourage or kill the adults does not usually kill the eggs. And if there are adults there are probably eggs and larvae as well.

Good luck,


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