A Florida-based customer wrote:
I bought several bamboo's from you a couple months ago -3 graceful's and an Asian lemon. They are all doing well and already growing like crazy. However, the Asian lemon had a new shoot on it when we got it (of course now it is getting very tall), but I noticed in the last week or so that under the leaf that hugs the stalk, there are white web-like insect egg casings and when you peel it back, there are small oval shaped insects (kind of pinkish color) about 200 microns across or the thickness of 2 hairs (very small). Is this something I should be concerned about? So far, I've only noticed it in a couple areas. I have Sevin insecticide that I've used to kill aphids and caterpillars. Should I use this or do you have a better solution?
The bug you've noticed is called mealy bug and it likes to suck the juices from tender new shoots. It may look nasty but on bamboo it seldom does any permanent damage. Mealy bugs only like the young shoots and bamboo grows so fast that it outgrows the bugs before they can do any damage. If it really bothers you, you can spray the shoots with a formula called Bayer Tree and Shrub found at most garden centers. On our property we try to minimize chemical use so we usually just let the bamboo do its thing - quickly outgrow the bugs.
Mealy bugs attack a young Bambusa oldhamii shoot that will soon outgrow the pests.
The customer wrote back to say:
Yes yes...I pulled up a picture of a mealy bug and that is exactly what it is!!
Thank you sooo much. We love our bamboo!!