Locust Plant Bugs are tiny, green, flying insects that are an annoyance to homeowners. First, they ruin the appearance of a Locust tree by causing severe defoliation. Second, homeowners who stand or sit beneath these trees, especially on breezy days, realize these flying insects are all over them. This tree pest likes to be protected, so it will find its way under clothing, and even onto our scalps, which causes severe itching! Third, they cause severe sap dripping all over vehicles, decks, patios, our children’s toys, and lawn furniture.
The Locust Plant Bug is an early spring/summer insect. The populations can be much heavier in some years than others, but they are always present to some degree.
Some years, Locust trees will fully foliate, and then defoliate as the insect ‘goes to work’ feeding on the leaves. In other years, the insects hatch early and attack the leaf buds themselves, preventing the tree from foliating at all until sometime in June!
This insect is a problem for the Locust for two main reasons
The Plant Bug sucks sap and nutrients from the tree, weakening it severely.
Due to the insect feeding, the tree is missing a huge percentage of its leaves during a key time – the growing season! Absorbing sunlight through a healthy, full crop of leaves is a necessity for a tree to gain energy and make food for survival. Missing this energy and the processing of food over a period of years severely weakens the tree, eventually killing it.
Depending on the circumstances for each particular tree, we might recommend foliar spraying applications, trunk injection or soil drenching of the appropriate insecticides. As always, timing of these different applications vary and are extremely important.