Experts and BHG readers answer.
Ficus Hedge with Black Bugs!
I have just planted a ficus hedge and already there are leaves starting to curl and die. I opened up a couple of the curled leaves and there are tiny black bugs in them? What are they and what should i do? I try to use only organic products as it is close to my vegetable garden. Thanks!
Without a more detailed description or being able to see the insects I can't be certain what the bugs attacking your ficus are, but i suspect that they are Cuban laurel thrips. Because the insects are protected inside the rolled up leaves, most insecticides don't work very well on them anyway. It may work to prune out the affected leaves and destroying them.
Here is a link to a fact sheet from the University of Florida on the life cycle and control of the thrips.