Pittosporum sucker

Pittosporum sucker is a sap sucking insect that can spoil the appearance of pittosporum by causing discoloration and distortion of leaves.

Pittosporum sucker ( Trioza vitreoradiata ) on Pittosporum

Pittosporum sucker (Trioza vitreoradiata) on Pittosporum

Quick facts

Common name: Pittosporum sucker or psyllid
Scientific name: Trioza vitreoradiata
Plants affected: Pittosporum
Main symptoms: Pale yellow bulges on leaves and distorted foliage
Most active: April-September

What is pittosporum sucker?

Pittosporum sucker is a small sap-sucking insect that feeds on sap from foliage during the spring and summer. This can result in distorted discoloured leaves.

Symptoms

Pittosporum leaves develop pale yellow bulges and distorted growth. Young leaves are particularly prone to damage.

Control

Damage by pittosporum sucker is unlikely to cause a serious lack of vigour in the plants although it can affect appearance. Therefore light infestations can be tolerated.

Non-chemical control

In light infestations damaged leaves can be pruned.

Chemical control

  • Pesticide sprays are likely to be most effective when newly-hatched nymphs first appear on new growth in spring
  • Multiple applications may be required to achieve adequate control
  • Plant invigorators (e.g. SB Plant Invigorator) or organic sprays containing natural pyrethrum (e.g. Bug Clear Gun for Fruit & Veg), fatty acids (e.g. Doff Greenfly and blackfly bug Killer) or plant oils (e.g. Vitax Organic Pest & Disease Control) may have some effect. Synthetic products include the contact action pyrethroid insecticides deltamethrin (e.g. Sprayday Greenfly Killer) lambda-cyhalothrin (e.g. Westland Resolva Bug Killer) and cypermethrin (Py Bug Killer). The systemic neonicotinoid insecticide acetamiprid (e.g. Bug Clear Ultra) is also an approved product.
  • Do not spray near plants in flower due to the danger to pollinating insects
  • Inclusion of a pesticide product does not indicate a recommendation or endorsement by the RHS. It is a list of products currently available to the home gardener

Download

Pesticides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining pesticides available to gardeners)

Biology

Originating from New Zealand, pittosporum sucker became established in south west England in 1993 and is has now spread throughout southern England, is established in parts of Scotland and also occurs in the republic of Ireland.

The whitish green nymphs are extremely flat and, almost scale-like in appearance. The yellowish green adult insects have two pairs of wings which are held in a roof-like fashion over the insect’s abdomen when at rest and are usually 3-4mm long. There are several generations during the summer with most damage occurring when new growth is developing.


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