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Boxwood Psyllid

Nancy Gregory, University of Delaware, Bugwood.org
Psylla buxi   The boxwood psyllid is the most common insect pest of Buxus sempervirens but all boxwoods are susceptible. It causes damage by piercing and sucking sap from buds and young leaves resulting in a conspicuous cupping of the foliage. These leaves are weakened and will usually fall off after about one year. The terminal growth will be affected for about two years.
 
The symptoms of a psyllid infestation are cupping of the young terminal leaves as they begin growth in spring. The psyllid nymphs will be visible inside the cupped leaves although the most obvious sign is the waxy filaments and secretions they produce.

Boxwood psyllids have one generation per year. They overwinter as eggs in small orange spindle-shaped eggs that have been laid in between bud scales. Emerging as the new growth begins in April to May and feeding on the buds and young leaves, the nymphs are light green and may have dark markings. They produce and are partly covered with waxy filamentous secretions. The sucking damage causes the leaves to cup and creates a protected area for the developing nymphs. They mature into light green, 1/16 inch long adults that look like miniature cicadas in late May to early June. The adults lay eggs in the bud scales in June and July.
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