Bay Sucker Psyllid
On Crops: Bay trees
Throughout UK and Europe
Similar in appearance to winged aphids, the adults are pale brown and about 2mm in length. During Spring the adults emerge from hibernation and begin feeding on the edges of bay leaves. They lay eggs which hatch into small scale-like larvae that produce large amounts of white wax.
Where the adults and the larvae feed, the bay leaves become curled and deformed. This becomes more severe as the larvae develop with thickened leaf edges that turn yellow. Honeydew makes the leaves sticky and attracts black sooty moulds.
During Spring, look for any new leaf growth that is starting to curl at the edges. Remove these and destroy the leaves whenever possible. Collect and dispose of old leaves and clippings that are on the ground around a bay tree.
Regularly inspect bay trees for the appearance of curled leaves and waxy residues within the curls. Remove, contain and destroy these leaves whenever possible.
Encouraging ladybirds onto the infested bay trees will help to control the psyllids, since both adult and larval stages of ladybirds are effective predators.