So we moved to a new home last week. There are two different trees, one in the backyard, one in the front. However, both trees have some oil or sap like things on the leaves, and what's worse, wind spreads the oil all over my car or anything under the trees. See attached picture please. What is causing the oil? The trees themselves or bugs? Are the white dots on the leaves bug eggs? I do see many bugs on the trees. Thx

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  • Oil? You sure you mean oil - those leaves are infested, not sure with what, could be mealybug, scale insects, woolly aphids. That can cause sooty mould, which is black, sticky deposits, which can end up on the ground beneath, but they're not oily. Post pics of the tree/s, not sure what it is from the leaves you've shown, and what part of the world are you in?
    – Bamboo
    May 4, 2017 at 20:32
  • I think I know what he is seeing. Honey dew is kinda shiny, sticky and the black stuff comes from the secondary 'infection' of bacteria and their excrement/wastes.
    – stormy
    May 5, 2017 at 18:52

1 Answer 1


You are correct! You've got soft bodied insects that suck from the plants. Could be a number of types; aphids, white fly, etc. The sticky stuff is honeydew...the excrement from insects sucking on your plants. The only solution is spraying NEEM, mixed correctly and only spraying at night. Do not want to harm a single bee. Or hiring a company to annually spray your trees. Notice through the season how long this event takes place. And we need to know where it is you live on this planet. These insects will not kill your plants but icky sticky. Perhaps just a plastic cover overnight will solve your problems. Less expensive anyhoo.

  • Thanks for the answer. I think you are right. I'm in North California.
    – Carl
    May 5, 2017 at 18:03

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