Forum home Problem solving

Tiny insects on fig tree

Hi, all. I have a little fig tree (bought at the garden centre in Spring about six inches tall, now about two and a half feet to three feet tall). I brought it indoors to overwinter as I didn't have the resources to wrap the pot at the time (interesting but perhaps unsurprising observation: our neighbour in the terrace is very old and keeps her heating on permanently, the fig tree thinks there's a second Spring so has woken up and is growing like billyo). Since having brought it indoors and it having a growth spurt, something has been very slowly but surely eating away at the edge of the largest leaf. To start with I thought perhaps there was a rogue slug that had come inside with it and had a bit of a nibble, but I could see no evidence of their usual silvery slime trails. On very close inspection, there appear to be what I think are either some tiny white insects or some type of fungus barely visible to the naked eye on the underside edge of the leaf (and only on the edge - I can't see any sign of it having spread inwards). I honestly can't make whatever it is out well enough to give a proper description. I was wondering if it might be some type of scale insect. If this is the case, how do I treat it? I have heard people mention methylated spirits before, and/or a washing up liquid solution, but will this damage the leaves of the fig tree? If so, are there other methods I could use that won't cause damage?

Whatever it is doesn't seem to have done much harm, and in every other respect the tree looks perfectly healthy and very vigorous, but if it's something that might get worse then I want to nip it in the bud.

Thank you.

Posts

  • philippasmith2philippasmith2 Posts: 9,664
    If it proves to be scale, using methylated spirit does do the job.  I always make sure that I rinse the leaves thoroughly after using this method.
    Like many trees, figs don't really enjoy an indoor atmosphere as it tends to be very drying and lacking natural light.
    A photo of the plant if possible may help with further advice :)
  • WillowBarkWillowBark Posts: 88
    For some silly reason, rinsing the leaves afterwards hadn't even occurred to me! But I guess that would clean the leaves of any residue and help prevent damage, so thank you very much for the information. I will give it a go and see what happens.

    Yes, I realise that things are a bit less than ideal indoors, so I have been trying to make sure that the pot doesn't dry out. Luckily, we have some very bright LED bulbs in our living room and the pot has been placed by our largest window, so the tree seems to be fairly happy all things considered.

    I will see if I can get some photos of the tree tomorrow.
  • @philippasmith2 Here are some photos of the affected leaf. It's the right hand side of the second biggest lobe that has been eaten away at. Unfortunately my half-decent camera is out of action at the moment, so the photo quality is very poor. 

    Also, apologies for the state of the carpet - I'd just tracked a load of mud and straw in on my wellies.




Sign In or Register to comment.