What can you do if your trees are infested with the psyllid?
Lerps on red gum foliage - Photo by Jack Kelly Clark
We are implementing a biological control program using introduced parasitoid natural enemies, but this will take some time even if we are successful. Eucalyptus is a very hearty species and can take numerous insults. If you want to save your trees, it would be a mistake at this time too cut any red gums unless you are absolutely sure that they are dead. Many of the worst looking trees have the chance to recover. Summer is the worst period and trees should get better during fall, winter, and spring.
Our introduced parasitoid natural enemies, which reduce the psyllid population, are now well established in many areas (see map), and continue to be released in areas without significant establishment throughout the state. These parasitoids are capable of spreading on their own, however this may take some time, perhaps several seasons.
Many methods of mimimizing damage from the psyllid are listed by the University of California, Statewide Integrated Pest Management Project in their "Pest Management Guidelines".
Dr. Donald L. Dahlsten, University of California at Berkeley, College of Natural Resources,
Center for Biological Control
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