Amy Tsuneyoshi
Hawai‘i Herald Columnist

In case you have an avocado tree, I’m certain you have got observed the leaves with yellow and brown splotches. Once you flip over the leaves, you’ll discover the culprits inflicting the injury hiding beneath. That is the avocado lace bug (pseudacysta perseae), which was first reported in December 2019 within the Pearl Metropolis space. Since then, it has been reported throughout the state with the doable exception of Moloka‘i and Lana‘i.

Avocado lace bugs lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves, that are tiny black dots lined of their feces. In case you discover a leaf with yellow or brown patches, flip it over to see if the bugs are current. The eggs, nymphs and adults are tiny however seen and not using a magnifying glass. The adults have orange and black markings. The avocado lace bug is reported to have a 22-day life cycle from egg to grownup.

(From left) Shut up image of an avocado lace bug, together with leaf injury and indicators of bug presence. (Picture courtesy of Amy Tsuneyoshi)

I’ve an avocado tree in my yard that simply end producing fruits for this season. I trim again the taller branches annually as common upkeep and so I can harvest fruits simply subsequent season. Based mostly on my observations since 2019, once I first noticed the avocado lace bug on my tree, my plant has been in a position to produce flower and fruits regardless of the presence of this pest. The insect inhabitants fluctuates over the yr and there will probably be durations the place I gained’t see that pest injury. Anecdotally, I’ve seen meijiro (zosterops japonicus) hopping alongside the branches pecking on the leaves, maybe consuming this pest.

I’ve a excessive threshold on acceptable injury on my crops earlier than I resort to therapy. So, aside from an occasional brief, sharp spray of water from the nozzle to shoot off the pests whereas I’m watering my crops, I usually let the useful bugs do their factor to maintain pest populations underneath management. In case you have a decrease tolerance for pests and injury they trigger, there are chemical choices out there. Simply bear in mind to learn the chemical label rigorously. Ensure the chemical is protected to make use of on avocado timber/fruit timber and know what precautions to take whereas utilizing it. Observe all label instructions. It’s the legislation. If doubtful, you’ll be able to contact the grasp gardener hotline in your island for particular recommendation. 

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