Boxwood Leaf Psyllid

Treatment Strategy

Damage from the boxwood psyllid is mostly aesthetic. Depending on the situation, control may not be necessary. If the population is identified early enough, pruning out affected areas is a possibility. Another option is to use systemic insecticides like Xytect or Transtect, which work from the inside of the plant, controlling actively feeding psyllids.

Soil Application Using Xytect 2F

Soil Application Using Transtect

Foliar Spray Using RTSA Horticultural Oil

Foliar Spray Using M-Pede

Soil Application or Foliar Spray Using Xytect 75WSP

Expected Results

This is not a pest that will kill or seriously disfigure plants. At most, it causes some curious looking foliage in the spring which grows out by summer. If control is necessary, timing must be made top priority. Though the adults feed later in the year, the nymphs do most of the damage and should be targeted. Boxwood leafminer will also be control by a Xytect or Transtect treatment.

Signs of Damage

  • Leaf cupping from nymphal feeding is a distinguishing symptom
  • As new foliage is rapidly growing, nymphs use their piercing sucking mouthparts to feed on young leaves and buds
  • Later in the season the plant may outgrow the damage since there is only one generation per year
  • Adults look similar to tiny cicadas and jump as plant lice in May and June
  • Nymphs are covered with white, waxy filaments and be near developing leaves prior to May
  • Eggs are orange, small, and are deposited in leaf buds in late summer and early fall

Photo: Brian Kunkel
University of Delaware, Bugwood.org

Photo: Whitney Cranshaw
Colorado State University, Bugwood.org

Trees At Risk

  • Boxwoods are susceptible to leaf psyllids.

Biology

  • Nymphs begin feeding on tender new leaves and buds.
  • Nymphs go through several instars before molting into adults in early June.
  • Adults emerge in late May or June as jumping plant lice.
  • Insect overwinters as eggs laid in the buds.
  • One generation per year.

A Treatment Guide is designed to help you identify a pest issue and management solutions. Always refer to product label for all rates and approved uses. Some images courtesy of forestryimages.org or Wikimedia Commons. Use of the images does not imply endorsement of treatments by forestryimages.org

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