Box Sucker

Psylla buxi

Box Sucker, Boxwood Psyllid, Boxwood Sucker

Photo by Even Dankowicz (CC BY 4.0)
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A close up of a Psylla buxi box sucker on a leaf
Photo by Even Dankowicz (CC BY 4.0)
1 of 5
Box Suckers are sap-sucking, jumping bugs. They're bright green with orange-tipped abdomens and wings. Psylla buxi can be a mild pest of Boxwood plants. Psyllids insects are similar to leafhoppers but look a little different. Sometimes, they're called suckers or jumping plant lice. Box Suckers become active in spring and early summer. Initial symptoms include white-waxy secretions and clear drops of liquid dripping from leaves. Damage is only ever mild, and most plants can tolerate infestations.
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Traits

Eaten by other predatory insects.
Damage can be unsightly.

Appearance

Adult: The adults' bodies are wingless, bright green with an orange-tipped abdomen. The wings are almost transparent, tinted orange near the tips. The wings are held like a roof over the insects' body. They are only about 3mm in length. Nymphs: They look the same as adults, however, appear smaller, lighter green, with no wings. They can be found on new growth.

Symptoms

White waxy deposit over young leaves. New growth may be stunted the following spring. New leaves become cupped.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hemiptera

Family

Psyllidae

Metamorphosis

Incomplete

Distribution

Europe and North America

Biological treatment

Most damage caused by this insect is aesthetic. Well established box plants can tolerate psyllids. It's advised to prune the damaged parts of plants regularly. Attract natural enemies to the garden by planting native grasses, shrubs and trees. Hanging baskets, herb gardens, climbers, and log piles can be used by beneficial wildlife to seek cover during the day.

Chemical treatment

Chemical treatments aren't recommended to treat Psylla buxi. If Boxwood is heavily infected, you can apply organic pesticides to gain control of nymphs. There are also more persistent chemicals if the above is not suitable. These include the synthetic pyrethroids lambda-cyhalothrin and deltamethrin. Please read and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully before any products are used. Never apply products to plants in flower.

Attracts

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