Damage from this insect is superficial and control is not usually necessary on established box hedges or topiary plants that are going to be clipped.
Regular clipping helps remove affected parts of the plant.
If damage is serious to plants that need to grow larger they can be sprayed with insecticide.
- Pesticide sprays are likely to be most effective when newly-hatched nymphs first appear on new growth in spring
- There is no point in spraying later in the year once the feeding damage has occurred
- Organic sprays, such as natural pyrethrum (e.g. Bug Clear Gun for Fruit & Veg, Ecofective Bug Killer), fatty acids (e.g. Solabiol Bug Free, Doff Greenfly & Blackfly Killer) or plant oils (e.g. Vitax Organic Pest & Disease Control, Bug Clear for Fruit and Veg) can give good control of sucker insect nymphs. These pesticides have a very short persistence and so may require reapplication to keep suckers in check. Plant oil and fatty acid products are less likely to affect larger insects such as ladybird adults
- More persistent insecticides include the synthetic pyrethroids lambda-cyhalothrin (e.g. Westland Resolva Pest Killer), deltamethrin (e.g. Provanto Ultimate Fruit & Vegetable Bug Killer) and cypermethrin (e.g. Py Bug Killer)
- The systemic neonicotinoid insecticide acetamiprid (e.g. Bug Clear Ultra) is also available
- Follow label instructions when using pesticides
- 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
Pesticides for gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining pesticides available to gardeners)