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Honeylocust Plant Bug

By Carl Wilson, Horticulturist, Denver Cooperative Extension

Honeylocust plant bugs are truly a here-today-gone-tomorrow kind of pest. They emerge in May to feed on the new growth of only honeylocusts and are gone by mid to late June. The plant bugs are light green, about three-eighths inch long, and highly active. Shaking a branch over a sheet of paper easily reveals their presence.

Plant bugs lacerate growth and suck plant juices producing scattered brown spots and distorted growth. Young leaves can be killed. Unless infestations are severe, some damage can be tolerated by trees. Research is incomplete, but experts generally consider six or more insects shaken from a single growth tip significant. In these cases, the terminal growth will appear visibly damaged and insecticide treatments may be considered.

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Damage to Honeylocust foliage

Any spraying should be done when insects are small. Mature bugs in the lasts stages of an infestation in June are hard to kill and will disappear shortly anyway. Most shade tree insecticides are effective. 

Photographs courtesy of University of Minnesota and Jeff Hahn.

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Date last revised: 01/05/2010