Psyllids cause a variety of symptoms such as tiny lumps on leaves, distorted shoots and sooty mould. They are also the insect vector of the disease psyllid yellows.
Identify the problem
Psyllids are small sap sucking insects usually about the size of aphids. Nymphs have a flat shell like covering.
Psyllids cause a variety of symptoms on plants such as Eugenia and Greselinia hedging and Pittosporum. Symptoms include tiny lumps or dimples on the leaves of the plant, distorted shoots, tip dieback and sooty mould. They can also cause wilting and irregular brown, yellow or orange patches on some ornamentals.
Psyllids are the main vector spreading a bacterial disease that causes psyllid yellows in tomatoes, capsicums and tamarillos and zebra potatoes. The control of this disease is only possible through control of the psyllid insects.
How to get rid of psyllid follow these steps:
- Avoid bringing infected plants into your garden. During winter remove all plants that could be host to infection. Inspect susceptible plants regularly for signs of infection or infestation with psyllids. Remove and dispose of any plants that show symptoms of infection.
- For ornamental plants such as Eugenia and Greselinia hedging, apply PLANThealth Spectrum, paying particular attention to undersides of leaves..
Control Ants and the Sap Sucking Insects they 'Farm' in Trees, Shrubs and Ornamantals
- Apply NO Ants Ant Sand or LawnPro Protect on the the soil around the roots of affected plants. This kills and prevents ants moving up the plants.
- Use Organic Insect Control with Pyrethrum to crop plants, paying particular attention to the underside of leaves where adults and nymphs live. Follow product instructions for use on crops carefully.
Inspect plants regularly for the presence of psyllids, so that treatments can be applied while numbers are low.
- Remove, bag and disposes of as much leaf litter in the area as possible as this may harbour eggs.
- Apply Organic Insect Control to affected crop plants. Concentrate on the underside of the leaves, where most of the psyllid adults and nymphs live.
- More than one application may be required (14 days apart) to kill all the nymphs.
- It is important to control psyllids on young plants as they are most vulnerable to psyllid yellows. Older plants are still vulnerable to infection by the bacterium, but any fruit that is set will still be harvestable
There are no treatments for Psyllid Yellows (the bacterial disease spread by psyllids) available at this time. Control of psyllids is the best way to manage this disease.
Note: The retail product PLANThealth Insect Hit Granules has been discontinued. However, if you have a significant problem a commercial option is still available, please contact Kiwicare directly for more information.
Did You Know
- The scientific Latin name of the tomato/potato psyllid is - Bactericera cockerelli
- The name of the bacterium that the psyllids spread and causes disease in tomatoes, potatoes, capsicums and tamarillos is Liberibacter solanacearum