How to identify Psyllid in your gardenPsyllids are very small, their approximate measurement is only 1/10’ in length. They has transparent wings folded over its black or green colored bodies. Psyllids resemble minute leafhoppers and have been referred to as the jumping plant lice because of their very strong legs, which allows them to leap from one branch to another. However, they are not very good in flying, meaning they are fairly easy to control and they cannot spread or travel very far.
LifecyclePysillids lay their eggs on the underside of leaves. These eggs will hatch in a matter of two weeks and the full development is completed between two the three weeks. Due to their life cycle being so short, it is recommended that when trying to eradicate the problem, to spray fortnightly in order to get both adults and eggs once hatched.
Psyllids Common to Australia1. Acacia Psyllid (Acizzia uncatoides) - This is native to Australia and is considered a cosmopolitan pest found in many ornamental plants like Acacia and Albizia species. 2. Lemon Gum Psyllid (Cryptoneossa triangular) - This is another native Psyllid to Australia and is one of the common pests seen in lemon scented gum and spotted gum plants. 3. Eugenia Psyllid (Trioza eugeniae) - This is often seen in the Australian Lilly Pilly, Syzygium Species.
How to Identify Psyllid InfestationIt is best to be very cautious of the leaves of your plants. Here are a few things you should watch out for in your plant to learn if it has been fed by these unwanted psyllids.
- Deformed or galled leaves - This generally will not affect the over all health of the plant unless the infestation becomes severe.
- Presence of honey dew on the surface of these leaves - The honey dew will attract more unwanted pests such as ants, aphids and scale.
- Growth of sooty mould on the leaves.
Factors Influencing the Rapid Spread of Psyllids on PlantsSome of the factors researched to have a great influence on the spread of psyllids on plants include the following:
- Climate - This is the main factor that influences the rapid spread of the psyllid population. It has been observed that outbreak of psyllid is more promintent during an unusually dry or wet condition.
- New Growth - Psyllid have a certain attraction to the presence of large amounts of young fresh foliage, so make sure your check you garden regularly in the warmer months for signs of Psyllid.
How to Eliminate Psyllid in your GardenThe following are the methods used and recommened by various gardeners when eliminating psyllids in their garden and lawn:
- Biological Approach - The introduction of natural enemies like hoverfly larvae, parasitic wasp, ladybird larvae, lacewings, spiders, and ants; as well as birds that feed on psyllids like honeyeaters, pardalotes, thornbills, and rosellas have been proven to be very effective.
- Chemical Approach- Use of insecticides is also done by some to control psyllids. However, the trees, shrubs, and vegetables have to be well maintained and observed to avoid over use of the chemicals.
- Health - Taking good care of plants to guarantee that they will be sturdy enough to withstand the unexpected attack of these pests.
- Choices - Your choices of plants that will help retard the growth of psyllids in your garden.