Eucalyptus sucker

Eucalyptus is often host to eucalyptus sucker. Any leaf damage caused is not usually serious and this insect should be tolerated.

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Eucalyptus sucker (<EM>Ctenarytaina eucalypti</EM>) on eucalyptus
Eucalyptus sucker (Ctenarytaina eucalypti) on eucalyptus

Quick facts

Common name: Eucalyptus sucker
Scientific name: Ctenarytaina eucalypti
Plants affected: Eucalyptus
Main symptoms: Insects on the shoots and sticky honeydew
Most active: Spring and summer

What is eucalyptus sucker?

The psyllids or plant suckers are a group of

sap sucking true bugs (Hemiptera). There are more than 40 species found in Britain. Many species produce a white waxy secretion during the immature (nymph) stages and some cause distortion and galling to host plants. Most however, do not cause any significant damage to garden plants. More information on Psyllids from in Britain can be found at British Bugs.

Eucalyptus sucker feeds on Eucalyptus they are similar in appearance to aphids and up to 2mm long, with grey and orange-yellow nymphs and darker adults. Both adults and nymphs can be found clustered on the shoot tips during the summer.

This Australian insect became established in Britain during the 1920s and is now of widespread occurrence in the UK on Eucalyptus species.  


Shoots where eucalyptus sucker is feeding are often sticky with honeydew and on which sooty moulds can grow. This insect overwinters as adults, they lay eggs on shoot tips from February onwards. There are two or three generations a year.  This insect does not usually affect the vigour of the plant.


The damage this insect causes is usually minor and treatment is not necessary. Plant suckers can be a part the biodiversity a heathy garden supports. 
  • This sucker does not affect the growth or vigour of plants and so should be tolerated
  • Encouraging predators and other natural enemies of suckers such as birds, ladybirds, wasps and ground beetles can help keep numbers to acceptable levels

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