Petunia Bugs

I've got a hanging basket with Wave Petunias from a nursery.
I noticed this year that the petunias are sticky--like from sap(one they are secreting). When I dead head them the dead flowers all stick to the sap all over my fingers. I don't know if that was always true of petunia. I don't recall that on last year's wave petunias from seed.
There are little white things stuck all over the leaves & stems. I thought they were a really bad infestation of some tiny bug, but none of them move. Now I realize they are dead bugs stuck to the leaves. Closer examination and I found the live green ones, less than 1/16 of an inch long. They cluster with young on the underside of the flowers. Looks like many, many of them have died in the sticky leaves and stems.
I don't have my camera this week so I tried scanning a leaf--poor resolution--but here's as close as I can get.
http://members.aol.com/digitalvinyl66/petuniabugs.jpg
I hadn't heard of any pests for petunias. Anyone familar with this? The petunias are very full so they may be getting too crowded and encouraging the bugs.
http://members.aol.com/digitalvinyl66/HangingPetunias-2004-06-17.jpg
Also the Blue Wave (a purple) have splashes of white developing on them--as if I spilled bleach on them. ?Any ideas why?
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 2nd year gardener http://members.aol.com/DigitalVinyl66/Garden2004.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
They're just aphids... didn't recall that sticky leaves were a sign of the buggers. Last year I had black aphids on my Nasturtiums--I recall them being more rounded last year--unless I mistook those for aphids.

DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 2nd year gardener http://members.aol.com/DigitalVinyl66/Garden2004.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm curious to see what answers you get because I had a similar experience with my wave petunias, although I don't think it was a heavy aphid infestation. I had one that just dripped with sap, but it was healthy as hell and kept producing flowers until November.(and I'm in zone 3) Dora2
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
snipped-for-privacy@aol.comnospam (Bungadora) wrote:

Mine is also very healthy otherwise. The purple ones are getting so heavy they are hanging down low. The basket has vanished underneath them and it is flowering heavily. The leaves are not curling, which is a sign that the Aphid's secretions into the plant have reached high levels.
Sticky leaves is a symptom of aphid infestation. The bugs are pretty tiny and you've got to really look for them. They usually are on the lowest underside of the flowers on mine. The little corpses stuck to all the leaves is strange. My ASSUMPTION is they get stuck in the sap, which is apparently leftover from them sucking too much out of the plant. Why would a bug cause a sap that it becomes stuck in and die. Not very Darwin of it.
Here's one article about them... http://www.treesforyou.org/Planting/InsectsandDisease/Insects/aphids_make_things_sticky.htm
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 2nd year gardener http://members.aol.com/DigitalVinyl66/Garden2004.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

_things_sticky.htm
Thanks for the article. I always assumed stickiness was just something that particular plant did, because unlike you I never saw insects stuck in the sap. It was in a very hot location, and therefore often went a bit dry, but was quite healthy until the end even considering it lived through a few frosts. To tell the truth I stopped watering it. (sigh) I felt like a murderer. I forget the name of the hybrid. I just wrote down 'double plum vein' in my notes.
Dora
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.