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Elaeagnus sucker is a sap sucking insect that can cause distortion to the leaves of Elaeagnus. It can also produce honeydew on which sooty mould can grow.
Common name Elaeagnus suckerScientific name Cacopsylla fulguralisPlants affected Elaeagnus × ebbingei, E. pungens, E. macrophylla, E. glabra, E. cuprea and E. oldhamiiMain symptoms Distorted leaves, honeydew and sooty mould Most active February to September
Elaeagnus sucker or psyllid is a sap sucking insect. These are a group of sap-feeding insects allied to aphids.
Elaeagnus sucker originates from eastern Asia and was first detected in Britain in 2002. It has spread rapidly and now occurs throughout most of England and parts of Wales.
When elaeagnus sucker first arrived in Britain, it spread very rapidly and was feared to become a major problem for Elaeagnus. In many places however, the high populations, seen soon after the insects arrival, are no longer occurring. This suggests that natural enemies may be having an effect on this insect helping to keep it at relatively low levels at which serious damage does not occur.
Plants with heavy infestations of elaeagnus sucker become covered with honeydew, a sugary excrement from the suckers, on which can grow a black sooty mould. New growth is often distorted and some damaged leaves may drop off.
Pick off and dispose of affected leaves or allow natural enemies to control sucker populations when infestation is light.
Pesticides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining pesticides available to gardeners)
Adult elaeagnus sucker are 2-4mm long and have two pairs of have transparent wings with black shading which are held roof-like over their abdomen when at rest. The orange-yellow nymphs are wingless and flattened so the width of their bodies is much greater than the depth. Older nymphs have large pads on the margins of the upper thorax where the wings will develop.
It has several generations during the summer but the heaviest infestations occur on the new growth in the spring. It probably overwinters as eggs which hatch in mid-February.
Alder sucker Bay suckerBox suckerEucalyptus sucker Pittosporum sucker RHS statement on pesticides in horticulture Sooty mould
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