How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Pear psylla—Psylla pyricola

Adult psylla are small (up to 0.10 inch long) and hold their transparent wings like a roof over their dark brown to reddish brown bodies when at rest. A dark spot on the top middle edge of both wings helps distinguish pear psylla from other psyllids.

Life cycle


Psylla inject into foliage a toxin that can cause blackening and burning. Nymphs also cause the production of honeydew on fruit and foliage, making them sticky and black with sooty mold. Vegetative growth may be stunted or entire trees defoliated. Pear psylla also transmit pear decline disease.


Oil sprays applied during the dormant season will kill many overwintering adults. A second dormant treatment applied just before bloom can be considered where populations have been high.

Pear psylla adult
Pear psylla adult
Sooty mold on fruit
Sooty mold on fruit
Typical leaf damage
Typical leaf damage

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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