AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — An unwanted, sticky glaze showing up in Central Texas has been blamed on recently rains and what bugs leave behind.

Austin arborist Michael Embesi says the culprits are aphids.

He told the Austin American-Stateman (, for a story Sunday, that a spike in aphids and their excrement is probably related to July rains that contributed to unusual new leaf growth. The insects eat leaves and excrete indigestible bits as the sugar-water-like honeydew.

Mike Merchant, who's an urban entomologist with Texas AgriLife Extension Service, said honeydew can lead to mold on plants.

Experts say homeowners can spray leaves with water for a few minutes, several days a week, to knock aphids off. Other steps include using insecticidal soaps or horticultural oils.


Information from: Austin American-Statesman,