The almond tree is a fairly drought-resistant fruit tree that, moreover, does not need to live in an area where winters are very cold 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 does not mean that it cannot be attacked by pests from time to time.
For example, one of the most debilitating is the green almond mosquito. A tiny insect whose scientific name is grape vineand that can cause various problems to plants.
How is the green mosquito of the almond tree?
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, it is capable of flying since it has wings. Now, it is interesting to say that the nymphs lack them, but still, they move quickly.
Its biological 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 do not have wings.
- Adults: they measure about 3 millimeters, they have wings and a green body with golden hues.
So so, From the time it is an egg until it reaches adulthood, it takes about a month.depending on the climate in the area. And the warmer it is, the less it will take.
In addition, you should know that there can be up to three generations in a 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, since that is when the green mosquito is most active.
What plants does it affect?
Although it is usually known by the name of the green mosquito of the almond tree, since this is one of the trees that causes the most damage, in reality we can also find it in other plants, such as:
- Almond trees
- Cherry trees
- apple trees
- peach trees
- It is forbidden
Even so, It is worth reviewing from time to time the plants we growsince this insect can affect a wide variety of species.
What are the damages it causes?
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 ends up falling.
And of course, if it runs out of leaves when it should have them, that is, in spring and summer, the plant will have a lot of difficulty carrying out photosynthesis, so it will weaken.
The problem can be aggravated if other opportunistic insects appear, such as mealybugs. These also feed on the sap of the leaves, so they will also cause the leaves to fall. And if the plant is young, it will run a greater risk than if it is an adult, since a mature specimen has more strength to resist pests.
What symptoms will we see in the affected plants?
The most common symptoms are the following:
- Yellow or brown spots on the leaves
- Early leaf drop
- Leaves curled or misshapen
Therefore, to detect the plague we will have to focus on the foliage. As they are very small insects, a magnifying glass can be of great help to see them better.
How do you combat the green mosquito of the almond tree?
If we have adult plants, it will not be necessary to do anything because the damage they will cause is more aesthetic than anything else. However, 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 to wash 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 be successful.
An ecological alternative to insecticides is the yellow sticky trap what can you buy here!. This hangs from the branches and, in this way, the insects will go towards them, where they will be stuck and can no longer 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 somewhat safer, such as remove weeds that grow around it, keep them well watered and fertilizedand in the case of fruit trees, prune them regularly, since if they are allowed to develop a dense canopy, the green almond midge will feel very attracted to them.
We hope it has served you to learn more about this pest.