The almond tree is a fairly drought-resistant fruit tree which, moreover, does not need to live in an area with very cold winters to be very productive. In fact, it is one of the most cultivated plants in the Mediterranean region, where temperatures can be very high during the summer, and mild at the end of it. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be attacked by pests from time to time.
For example, one of the most debilitating is the almond green mosquito. A small insect whose scientific name is empoasca vitisand it can cause various problems to plants.
How is the Almond Tree Green Mosquito?
It is an insect that belongs to the Cicadellidae family, which is why it is said to be a leafhopper. In its adult phase, it has a light green body and measures about 3 millimeters.. In addition, he is able to fly since he has wings. Now, it is interesting to say that the nymphs lack it, but still, they move quickly.
Its life cycle is as follows:
- Egg: the female lays about twenty eggs on the leaves, near the veins.
- nymphs: they are very small, greenish in color, and have no wings.
- Adults: they measure about 3 millimeters, they have wings and a green body with golden highlights.
More or less, From when it’s an egg until it reaches adulthood, it takes about a month., depending on the climate of the region. And the hotter it is, the less it will take.
Besides, you should know that there can be up to three generations per year: one in spring, another in July or August and the last one in autumn before the cold arrives. The summer one is the most damaging, because that’s when the green mosquito is most active.
What plants does it affect?
Although it is generally known as the green mosquito of the almond tree, since it is one of the trees that causes the most damage, in reality it can also be found in other plants, such as:
- almond trees
- Cherry tree
- apple trees
- peach trees
- Oak trees
- tomato plants
Nevertheless, It is worth reviewing the plants we grow from time to timesince this insect can affect a wide variety of species.
What damage does it cause?
The green mosquito feeds on the sap of the leaves, which is why we will see it near the nerves. In doing so, they leave traces of their saliva, which is toxic to plants. For this reason, we will see yellow spots on the foliagewhich eventually falls.
And of course, if it lacks leaves when it should have leaves, that is to say in spring and summer, the plant will have great difficulty in carrying out photosynthesis, so it will weaken.
The problem can be aggravated if other opportunistic insects appear, such as scale insects. These also feed on the sap of the leaves, so they will also drop the leaves. And if the plant is young, it will be at greater risk than if it is adult, because a mature specimen has more strength to resist pests.
What symptoms will we see in affected plants?
The most common symptoms They are the following:
- Yellow or brown spots on the leaves
- Early leaf fall
- Curled or distorted leaves
Therefore, to detect the plague, we will have to focus on the foliage. As they are very small insects, a magnifying glass can be a great help to see them better.
How to fight against the green mosquito of the almond tree?
If we have adult plants, nothing will have to be done because the damage they will cause is more aesthetic than anything else. Now well, if they are young, it is best to treat them with insecticides containing 3.2% azadirachtin or 10% tau-fluvalinate. It is important to wear rubber gloves, such as those used for washing dishes, so that the product does not come into contact with the skin. In addition, we will follow the instructions specified on the packaging to succeed.
An ecological alternative to insecticides is the yellow sticky trap what you can buy here This one hangs from the branches and this way the insects will go towards them, where they will get stuck and cannot move.
What to do to avoid the plague?
The first thing is to keep in mind that it cannot be 100% avoided. But there are some things we can do to make our plants a little safer, like remove weeds growing around, keep them well watered and fertilizedand in the case of fruit trees, prune them regularly, because if allowed to develop a dense crown, the green almond midge will be very attracted to them.
We hope it has helped you to learn more about this pest.