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Psyllids / Lerps

This pest is divided into two groups.

The first group is known as a 'Free living Psyllid'. This group of Psyllid freely moves around the trees canopy, drawing sap from the soft tissue of new shoots.

The second group is known as a 'lerp' Psyllid. This group of Psyllid builds a hard or soft covering under which the insect lives and feeds on the leaves of the host tree. The lerp helps protect the insect from predatory insects and is constructed from the insects waste product, which hardens on contact with the air.

Lerp Psyllids
Close up of Lerp Psyllids

This insect pest mostly occurs from Spring to Autumn, though environmental conditions can greatly influence this.

Whilst Psyllids / Lerp attack can cause a varying level of damage to the host tree, the pest is naturally controlled by a large range of predatory insects i.e - Small birds, Ladybirds, spiders, lacewigs, wasps.

Psyllids / Lerps will periodically have population outbreaks, but as natural enemy numbers increase or environmental conditions become unfavourable, the population will decline.

Host trees include Eucalyptus, Corymbia, Angophora, Acacia, Ficus, Syzygium.

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