Honey Locust Plant Bug (Diaphnocoris chlorionis)
Tagged as: Honey Locust Plant Bug
The honey locust plant bug is approximately 1/8 inch long and pale to light green when full grown. There are two stages: the nymph and adult. The nymph is a miniature replica of the adult. Both stages are quite active and will fly when disturbed.
The honey locust plant bug overwinters on honey locust as an egg beneath the bark of twigs and branches. The eggs hatch in the spring, just as the leaf buds begin to open. Young nymphs begin feeding on the young foliage at this time causing serious damage to the emerging leaves. Nymph development requires 30 days with adults appearing by late May to early June. The adults continue to feed for one to two months and disappear by mid-to late July. Eggs are laid by the adults in linear clusters under the bark of 2- and 3-year-old twigs. There is only one generation per year.
Feeding by the honey locust plant bug results in severe leaf distortion, dwarfed leaflets, chlorosis, and yellow-to-brown spots. Irregular holes may result when dead tissue falls out of the infected leaves. Heavy plant bug infestations may cause premature leaf drop, but typically a second flush of leaves is produced. Despite the damage to the foliage, tree death rarely occurs. Unfortunately, the honey locust plant bug is an unpredictable pest because weather conditions influence the bug’s survival and activity. An outbreak one year does not ensure an outbreak in subsequent years.
None known. Plant cultivars, such as ‘Sunset’ or ‘Shademaster’ are less susceptible to honey locust plant bugs than some of the yellowleaved strains.
Foliar insecticides, insecticidal soaps, and oils may be applied as soon as plant bug feeding injury is observed. However, this is impractical in large trees. Maintaining tree vigor by watering and fertilizing as needed is probably the best way to ensure tree health.
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