Pittosporum sucker

Pittosporum sucker is a sap sucking insect that can cause discolouration of pittosporum foliage.

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Pittosporum sucker (<EM>Trioza vitreoradiata</EM>) 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 bulges and distortion on leaves
Most active: April-September

What is pittosporum 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.  

Pittosporum sucker feeds on sap from foliage of pittosporums during the spring and summer, this can result in distorted discoloured leaves. The plant can tolerate this damage.


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

Adult pittosporum sucker are winged pale green insects, about 4mm in length, older individuals are a darker green. The nymphs are flattened and pale, almost white, and less mobile than the adults. 


Damage by pittosporum sucker is unlikely to cause a serious lack of vigour in the plants although it can affect appearance. Therefore it should be tolerated and most plant suckers can be a part the biodiversity a heathy garden supports.

Non-pesticide control

  • Often suckers do not affect the growth or vigour of plants and so should be tolerated
  • Encourage predators and other natural enemies of suckers, in the garden, such as birds, ladybirds, wasps and ground beetles will help keep damage to a minimum.
  • If necessary distorted leaves can be removed from the plant however, this may cause more damage than the insect



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 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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