Insects will lay their eggs on the top and underside of plant leaves for protection as well as a food source for the larvae when hatched.
The yellow eggs found on plant leaves can be the eggs of moths, beetles, aphids, and stink bugs. Once laid, the eggs can be pale yellow which can change as it ages. If allowed to hatch, the larvae will feed on the plant leaves until maturity which will affect the overall health of the plant.
It can be nerve-wracking to see insect eggs on plant leaves but proper identification will allow you to make better decisions whether to leave or take action in removing the eggs from the leaves.
We have covered the different types of insects that lay eggs on leaves and what you can do once you have identified that they are harmful to the plant.
What Insects Lays Eggs on leaves?
Insect eggs vary in shape, size, and color depending on the species. For example, bullet-shaped, keg-shaped, and gelatinous.
Eggs can be laid alone, in clusters, or in large groups. The amount depends on the risk of predation that the larvae are likely to encounter.
Some beetle species lay a few thousand eggs in large batches, as only some will make it past the larval stage.
When hatched the larvae can attack the plant, feeding on the surrounding structure until they reach a stage of maturity for them to migrate.
At that point, the destruction would have already been done which in some cases may cause the death of the plant.
List of insects that lay yellow eggs on leaves:
Several moths have yellow eggs, and many of these species are pests of either crops or vegetable gardens — or both.
These insects tend to lay eggs on the top surface of the leaves.
These slender beetles are often black or grey with narrow, grey, or yellow stripes. These insects lay clusters of 20 or so on the undersides of leaves.
Aphids tend to attack ornamental plants, such as roses and cause the growth to be stunted.
Research has shown that these insects lay their eggs on both the lower and upper end of leaves.
These spherical predators lay masses of bright yellow, oval eggs on the surfaces of leaves.
They are very common vegetable warms and are adults in their adult form. The moths are brownish-grey and damage vegetables by laying eggs on the flowers and leaves.
Their larva is more destructive as it bores holes on the crop crown and feeds on the plant tissues.
Their eggs are yellow-white, having 0.66 diameters and 0.4mm in height, and they are usually laid singly on the underside of leaves.
Eggs are mostly found on leaves that are both larger and higher on plants.
The adult spider mites lay their eggs on the lower side of leaves, and they can be over a hundred in a week.
Adult spider mites lay their eggs on the underside of leaves. Eggs become yellowish in later stages.
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Are Insect Eggs Harmful to Plants?
Insect eggs on leaves are common and can be harmful to plants if they are not correctly identified and removed. However, some plants can produce a hypersensitive response that protects the plants before the eggs hatch.
Most plants have a unique first line of defense that helps them protect themselves from enemies before becoming harmful.
Some eggs can trigger a hypersensitive response in plants.
This response is known for the death of cells and plant tissues around the egg and, thus, leads to desiccation or the dropping of the egg.
This is how plants protect themselves by preventing the eggs from hatching on the leaves.
In some other cases, plants make themselves more attractive to parasite wasps that help devour harmful eggs.
The effects of eggs on plants are induced by changes in the photosynthetic activity of leaves and the plant’s secondary metabolism and growth.
Examples of egg deposition effects can be the induction of hypersensitive-like plant response, formation of neoplasms, or production of ovicidal plant substances.
In addition, egg deposition can induce a change of the plant’s odor and leaf surface chemistry, which serve indirect plant defense with the help of antagonists of the insect eggs.
These egg-induced changes lead to the attraction of egg parasitoids and their assistance on a leaf, respectively.
Moreover, biological control through natural enemies of the harmful herbivores and exploitation of the genetic variation in resistance traits among wild relatives are two promising sustainable strategies to reduce pests.
With this, such traits often allow the pest to continue feeding and act when damage already exists.
Killing the insect egg before the pest can cause harm is a more proactive approach, so to do this, we need to study their underlying mechanisms.
How to Prevent Insects from Laying Eggs on Leaves:
Following are the ways to prevent insects from laying eggs on leaves:
- Mist the leaves regularly to keep them moist.
- As eggs are on the surface of the leaves, dusting the leaves often prevents these mites from laying eggs on them.
- Homemade bug spray can be made from water and neem oil for indoor plants.
It has shown positive results in such cases. Moreover, these are natural remedies for preventing pests without any side effects and can be made easily.
- As organic fertilizers are vital for the health of plants, maintaining plant health with organic fertilizers allows plants to outgrow and tolerate pest damage can also be an excellent tactic to keep insects from laying eggs on leaves.
- A natural remedy to boost the immunity of leaves is keeping the soil alive by using compost and other soil amendments to generate a natural immunity of leaves against insects and their eggs.
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How to Get Rid of Yellow Eggs on Leaves:
There are many ways to control yellow eggs on leaves without using any harmful chemicals. Aphids and other yellow egg-laying insects and pests have several natural enemies, including other insects, larvae, and birds. Insect eggs are easy to remove by hand or target with sprays.
Some insects can multiply quickly, so it may take a combination of methods and repeated efforts to control them completely.
DIY Methods for Removal and Prevention of Insect Eggs
Spray aphids off of plants with a strong stream of water from a garden hose. This method is most effective early on in the season before an infestation has fully taken hold.
Remove by hand:
Put on some garden gloves and knock them off of stems, leaves, flower buds, or wherever you see them, and into a bucket of soapy water to kill them.
Soap and water:
Apply with a spray bottle directly on aphids and the affected parts of the plant, making sure to soak the undersides of leaves where eggs and larvae like to hide.
The organic compounds in neem oil act as a repellent for aphids and other insects, including mealybugs, cabbage worms, beetles, leafminers, ants, and various types of caterpillars.
Create your own spray mixture with essential oils. Use 4 to 5 drops of each: peppermint, clove, rosemary, and thyme, and mix with water in a small spray bottle.
Spray on affected plants to target adult aphids, as well as aphid larvae and eggs.
Olive oil can be beneficial when used on plants. It is a cost-effective way of providing the plant with additional nutrients while fighting off pests such as the ones that lay eggs on leaves.
Oils create an unwelcoming surface for insects to latch on to, more so, the eggs will tend to fall off as they also will not have a dry surface to anchor on.
Sometimes the above-mentioned insects can also lay eggs in the soil.
However, there are fertilizer balls that are often also mistaken as insect eggs which can be nerve-wracking if not properly identified.
These yellow or orange balls found in soil can be slow-release Osmocote fertilizer balls used to supplement the soil’s nutrients over a period of time.
These fertilizer balls disintegrate with increasing temperatures and can last a maximum of 5 months at 60oF or 15oC.
So there may be no need to worry if you properly identify the balls are actually fertilizer balls and not eggs.
The yellow eggs on leaves cause degradation of the photosynthetic activity of leaves and dead larva skins on leaves surfaces damage the leaves sensitivity and photosynthetic efficiency so exploiting the natural egg-killing capabilities of plants is promising in reducing crop losses in the future.
To retain the sustainability of a plant, some precautionary measures should be taken against yellow-laying insects and their side effects.
There are many environmentally friendly ways to remove the eggs so one can use them to prevent plants from the damages caused by the yellow eggs without any chemical destruction i.e using water, removal by hand, Neem oil, and essential oils.
One can also prevent insects from laying eggs by misting the leaves regularly, Dusting, and cleaning the leaves in order to prevent mites from laying eggs on them.
There are also homemade bug sprays made up of water and neem oil that prevent insects from harming indoor plants.
One can also keep the soil alive by using compost and other soil amendments that act as a natural immune system for leaves.