Mid-season washing with water to remove dust may help prevent serious late-season mite infestations. Lesions have a tan center surrounded by a dark redbrown margin, and are sometimes bordered by a chlorotic halo. Move an infested plant to isolate it from the rest of your collection. To observe them more closely, shake a few off the leaf surface onto a white sheet of paper. Debris tends to collect at the base of plants, and this is where the adults of the leaf miner larvae lay their eggs. Infection of developing leaves and bracts results in puckered, distorted growth. Insectical oils and soaps will not control caterpillars such as the looper. This moth is small, only about 1 inch wide, and has brown wings. Wash the leaves individually with the soap/oil mixture. Scale-damaged plants look withered and sickly and may have sticky sap or a black fungus on the leaves and stems. Slugs and snails don’t like the tannin in the leaves. The early symptoms are small reddish-brown leaf spots which usually occur on younger foliage, and cause the leaves to look “rusty”. The edges of the bougainvillea leaves will look chewed on and have a scalloped edge. Check the packaging of your chosen pesticide to see if it affects caterpillars. Mites cause damage by sucking cell contents from leaves. Important natural enemies include the predatory ladybugs/ladybirds/ladybeetles, and lacewings. But, it is not uncommon for your bougainvillea to be affected by pests & diseases. For all other disease, begin applications prior to disease onset when conditions are conducive for disease. Be sure to get good coverage, especially on the undersides of leaves. It will not cure infection that is already there, but it can control the spread of it. Remove scale insects with a twig or scraping tool. Capture flying aphids by placing yellow sticky traps near infected plants. Under conditions of high rainfall or relative humidity the lesions develop quickly and are often black and vein delimited. Iron deficiency: Young growth is stunted and pale — you’ll know its iron if the veins on the leaf remain green. Under conditions of high rainfall or relative humidity the lesions develop quickly and are often black and vein delimited. Some leaf mining larva may also “winter over” in this debris. The signs that you have bougainvillea looper caterpillar is mainly damage to the leaves. Bougainvillea Pest and Disease Issues Aphids. Some leaf miners can be killed by systemic pesticides (a type of pesticide that moves inside a plant following absorption by the plant), but many breeds are still immune to the effects of pesticide. Rough, sharp sand is another option. Bougainvillea—Bougainvillea spp. Putting down barriers that slugs can’t cross is, perhaps, the best way to protect your garden from these common pests. As is the case with every living creature, these beautiful trees too, are susceptible to a few harmful diseases and fungal infections that can kill it, or at least severely affect its life and growth. Naturally controlling mites is the best method. Make a nontoxic pesticide by mixing 1 cup vegetable oil with 1 tablespoon liquid dish-washing soap. It’s easily prevented by careful handling and by the application of a broad spectrum fungicide drench during transplanting or planting in the landscape. The Common Diseases Found in Bougainvillea. Although you should keep a watch for worms, mites, and caterpillars that tend to eat the leaves. Sometimes the mites will be gone by the time you notice the damage; plants will often recover after mites have left. A part of the bougainvillea’s appeal is that they are relatively disease and pest-free plants. Yellow or tan spots appear on older leaves may be sign of Magnesium deficiency (common with yellow bougainvillea varieties), or from over-watering. They will scrape off of plant tissue easily. The looper larva mimics stems and branches very well and feeds primarily at night, which is why you may see the damage but fail to find the culprit on the plant.
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