Psyllids

Psyllid

Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

Description

Psyllids are Aphid-like, flying and hopping pests that are often called “jumping plant lice.” Adult Psyllids are tiny (1/6 inch long) and brownish or green in color, with long translucent wings folded on their backs. Immature Psyllids can be covered in waxy white hairs or honeydew. 

Damage

Psyllids damage plants by sucking the sap from the shoots and leaves, stunting the plant’s growth and causing dieback on the tips of shoots. New invasive Psyllids, called Asian Citrus Psyllids, can transmit plant disease such as Huanglongbing, also called citrus greening (see Asian Citrus Psyllid), that kills citrus trees. Psyllids can cover plants in the sugary excretion called honeydew, which can be infected with black Sooty Mold (see Sooty Mold). Other species can induce gall formation where leaves curl or pucker in on themselves, forming a protective barrier around the immature Psyllids, that can then feed and mature protected inside the leaf.
 

Location

Psyllids are found throughout the United States.
 

Similar or Related Pests

Asian Citrus Psyllid