With over 100s of species, psyllid, a sucking insect originated in North America that survives on fruits, flowers, stems, barks, leaves and roots of the plant. When this insect sucks the nutrients in the leaves and flowers, then it the result in distortion or damage of the whole plant. These insects are infesting the crops and are causing severe financial loss to farmers. Moreover, when this insect spreads in the garden, it takes away the beauty of the place. Though, this species is not dangerous still it can lead to crop devastation. Many farmers often look for ways to
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Psyllid Control Using Natural Repellents.
The eggs of this insect are normally 0.3 mm with a thick base and slim at the end. The eggs of this insect are pale in color after being laid by the adult female psyllids. However, they soon turn yellow over time and orange before hatching. The nymph is 0.25 mm length and goes through five nymph stages, also called as “instars” before transforming into maturity. After the insect reaches its maturity, the length ranges between ½ and 1/5 inches. They have tiny antennae and stiff legs with which they jump from one plant to another in the garden. Moreover, they fly in the air. Despite weaker wings, its strong legs help to jump. Though there are different species of this insect available, every species cause an infestation. These insects stay alive on the plant, that serves as a host. No matter whether the insect is nymph or adult, both of them sucks the host surface to extract juice. You can find adult psyllids in the crevices of different trees.
Identifying the Damages Caused by Psyllids
Psyllids are monophagous. Depending on the species, they either feed on a single plant or on different plants. For example, Asian citrus psyllids will feed only on citrus trees, whereas the other species of this insect feed on eggplant, tomato, potato, peppers, olives, etc.
Various Symptoms to Detect the Presence of Psyllids
Symptoms depend on the host and pest type. Few of the common symptoms that you notice on trees when they are prone to psyllids infestation include:
- Inspect the leaves thoroughly to identify the damage. You can see the toxic saliva that is released by this insect on the surface of the leaves. This insect also produces honeydew at times. You also need to notice galls and sticky substance on the plant to identify the presence of this insect.
- When the plant is infested with pear psyllids, the common symptoms that are noticed are black foliage on the fruit skin.
- Leaves of tomato and potato turn yellowish with distorted physical structure. Moreover, it also introduces zebra chips disease; this takes a toll on the potatoes and its shape.
- In citrus plants, this insect turn the leaves to yellow while making the plant weak. In addition, the fruits of the plant grow smaller than its actual size. These fruits cannot be consumed by humans, as it lacks nutrients.
What is the Final Result of Infestation?
When this insect spreads among the entire crop, it damages the whole crop. More importantly, young plants are more susceptible to this infestation. If the infestation is spread in the early stage of the plant growth, then the growth of plants comes to an end. The plants that are matured have more ability to withstand to the infestation compared to the young plants. This also results in defoliation. However, defoliation depends on the health of the host. If this infestation is spread in landscapes, then it takes a toll on the appeal of the garden space.
How to Get Rid of Psyllids?
If you want to get rid of psyllids in your farms and garden area naturally without using invasive chemicals, then you need to pick one of the following natural repellents to avoid psyllid:
- Trim the garden: This is the best way to get rid of these insects. You need to trim the garden area and remove the plants or leaves that are damaged due to these insects. Make sure to see that there are no ants present in the garden since these are the ones that offer them with additional protection.
- Biological control psyllid: This is an excellent way to control psyllid. For this, you need to encourage natural predators to land in your garden or crop area. However, you can also buy the predators and grow plants that attract those predators to enter your garden area. Few of the predators you should have in the garden to limit the population of psyllids include green lacewings, beetles, and parasitic wasps.
- Use yellow traps: You need to buy a yellow trip with the sticky coating to keep psyllids at bay. You need to hang these traps on the trees or else keep them on the ground. The psyllids that are passed through the traps get stuck to the surface and do not have room to escape. They need to stay until the insects die or else you need to move them safely to another place.
- Diatomaceous earth: This is an ideal choice to get rid of this insect. This is an effective yet harmless solution that does not cause any harm to the environment. Basically, diatomaceous earth comprises of fossil remains. You need to spread the remains on the host plants where this infestation is spread to keep the population of this insect at bay. In addition, when you sprinkle this on the host plant, it also remains safe from other insects like cockroaches, spiders, fleas, etc.
- Kaolin clay: This is a promising solution that not many people take into consideration. This clay is widely used as one of the ingredients in skincare products, but this also helps you to get rid of psyllids. This will protect the host plant by preventing from getting prone to infestation.
- Neem oil:How to get rid of psyllids? This is an organic repellent that can be sprayed on the fruits and vegetables and also flowers to get rid of adult and nymph insects. To make this oil work effectively, you need to mix this oil in water and then spray on leaf surfaces until the leaves are wet.
- Use biological insecticide: This is safe to kill bugs. The best thing is that it will not cause any harm to humans and pets. This solution will attack the pests, especially psyllids that are feeding on your plants. This will penetrate through the skin of the insect and will kill it in no time. This can be used in greenhouse, landscapes, nurseries, and interiorscape.
- Spinosad: This is extracted from a bacterium that acts as a neurotoxin. When this is sprayed, the pests will stop to feed on plants and dies completely in 2 days. However, it is recommended to follow the instructions suggested by the manufacturer thoroughly. You need to dilute this solution by mixing 4 gallons of water. You need to use a hand sprayer to spray this liquid on the leaves of the plants to kill psyllids. You need to re-apply this solution for 7 to 10 days until the pests disappear from your nursery or garden. It is a best practice to spray this solution either early in the morning or during evenings to avoid causing harm to bees.
How to Control and Prevent Psyllid in the Garden?
Psyllids peel the outer surface of the plant or fruit to extract cell sap that is inside. The honeydew produced by this insect results in the growth of mold, and this also transmits diseases from one plant to another. This tiny creature is reddish brown color with strong legs and weak wings. They will jump and fly when gets distributed. Nymphs are not as active as adult psyllids. These are found in huge numbers in the leaves. The nymphs are in yellow color. However, this turns green as it gets matured.
Horticultural oil: Basically, this type of insect is found mostly during the spring season. When you sprinkle this oil on the host plants, it destroys the adults and their eggs, thus bringing the population of this insect under control. This Psyllid control using natural repellents will not let the adult psyllids to breathe and reduce their energy totally.
Ladybugs: You need to grow strong predators of psyllids in your garden area when you see psyllids damaging your plants and beauty of your garden. To keep your garden and farm healthy, you need to release these predators into your garden area to keep this pest under control. Interestingly, doing this way helps to control the psyllid population.
Use natural pesticides: If there is a large infestation that has affected your crop, then you can use natural pesticides that are harmless in your crop or garden area. This will control psyllid and helps you reap positive results.
Insecticidal soap: This natural repellents to avoid psyllid is the best and promising pest killer that when kept on the damaged plants or trees damages the shells of the insects. This makes the insect experience dehydration problem. To attain quick results, you need to keep this soap on the insects directly. You need to apply this treatment again and again until you get rid of the problem completely.
Use organic pesticides: How to control and prevent psyllid in the garden? This is another best solution that will help you to keep psyllids under control. This will also reduce the population of this insect. However, if you like to eat fruits and vegetables on which you are spraying these pesticides, make sure to read the label on the pesticides thoroughly and follow the instructions carefully while spraying these pesticides.
Use insecticides: You need to buy and use the insecticides that are made of an organic material for around 5 to 7 days to bring the population of psyllids under control. To attain effective results, you need to spray this solution on upper and lower area of infested leaves regularly for a week.
Use plant health insect hit: This is used to control the population of insects on trees, shrubs, fruits, and leaves. This will protect the ornamental plants in your garden against psyllids. This hit when sprayed on the damaged or infected plants will spread throughout the plant and protect its parts from further getting damaged. This is non-invasive and is safe to use. You need to apply this solution for a month to control psyllid. The best thing is that, when you spray this hit, it will not burn the leaves of the plant.
Overall, it is highly recommended to spray the horticultural oil on the plants before insects feed. This will keep the infestation in your nursery at bay. In case, if the population of psyllids has started to grow, then you can introduce predators to gain positive results. If there is no infestation, then you need to maintain the plants in a healthy condition.
How to Prevent Psyllids
As the saying goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” You need to keep the plants in your garden or crops in your farms healthy. When the plants are healthy, then there are less or no chances of falling prey to infestation. This is true for all insects, including psyllids. You need to keep the surroundings tidy and also check the plants in your garden for any signs of damages from time to time. You should reduce the usage of fertilizers and also overwintering plants to keep psyllids under control and avoid major problems.
Few other tips to prevent psyllids include:
- Trim the bark of trees regularly and remove leaves that are affected with an infestation
- Water the plants regularly, especially during summer without missing to keep them healthy. Basically, stressed plants are easily prone to psyllids infestation.
- To keep the population of psyllids at bay, you need to spray hedges at the start of the spring season.
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