We have recently received many questions from our residents as to why everything outside is so sticky. Cars, sidewalks, decks and pretty much anything under the tree canopy has been coated with a sticky residue. Many assume it is sap falling from the trees, but actually it is from an insect. Several species of soft scales, referred to as Lecanium scales feed on sap from shade trees and woody ornamentals. These insects produce large volumes of liquid waste called “honeydew”. Deposits of this sugar-rich material gives leaves, decks, sidewalks, etc. a shiny appearance. If not cleaned up regularly surfaces may become blackened by the growth of sooty mold fungus and will be more difficult to clean.
Steam cleaners work best for cleaning the honeydew and sooty mold fungus from surfaces, but a mop, bucket, 10% bleach solution and good ole elbow grease will do the trick as well.