McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

May 31, 2012

Bugs cause sticky situation

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer

McALESTER — McAlester resident Pam Harley returned from her recent vacation  to find a strange sticky substance covering her fences, deck and vehicles in her yard.

 “We saw this stuff on everything and though maybe we had been vandalized, Harley said.

She said the stuff washed off easily with water but still she couldn’t figure out how it got there until she made a call to OSU Extension David Cantrell OSU Extension Educator.

“We are seeing two things,” Cantrell said. Because of last years drought, we have a large population of scale insects and aphids who feed off the sap in the leaves and excrete “Honey Dew” which is the sticky sweet smelling substance found on cars and fences lately.

Harley said she was pleasantly surprised that it washed off so easily and she was glad to know where it came from.

Cantrell said the bugs will soon transform into “crawlers” and the problem will disappear around mid-June as the temperature begins to rise and the insects change their eating habits.

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Contact Jeanne LeFlore at jleflore@mcalesternews.com.