Many species of phylloxera are pecan pests, but just the pecan phylloxera creates financial damage in a specific period. The southern pecan leaf phylloxera as well as the pecan leaf phylloxera feed mainly on the foliage. The pecan phylloxera infects the foliage, fruit, and shoots and therefore is the most destructive.
The pecan phylloxera is an aphid-looking, little insect that is never seen. Though, the galls it develops are noticeable and prominent. Serious infestations create weak, malformed shoots that ultimately die.
The pecan phylloxera hibernates as eggs in the dead body of an adult female, which is in protected parts on pecan tree branches. Right after budbreak, the eggs hatch and the little insects travel to leaf tissue or opened buds to feed on increasing new growth.
Stem mothers are the ones that come from the hibernating eggs. Eating by the stem mothers encourages the growth of galls, which surround the stem mother in a couple of days. In the gall, the stem mother grows old, lays her eggs and perishes. The stem mothers’ laid eggs emerge within the gall, and these pests feed in the gall until they become old.
The nymphs and adults are 1/8 inch, little, the color of cream, and has soft skin. They look like aphids minus the cornicles. You'll want a hand lens to see and detect them.
Because the galls are easily seen, pecan phylloxera plagues typically look worse than they are.
Only when galls appear on vast numbers of nuts or shoots should you think about using insecticides. Time management of your pest control applications is crucial, and you must aim insecticide applications in the direction of the stem mothers. Apply budbreak sprays to the new growth. When the galls appear, it is too late to manage pecan phylloxera.
Typically, only the trees that were affected the previous year will require treatment, not the whole orchard. Certain grafted varieties and native trees within an orchard get more seriously infested than other plants. Getting tree removal service or spraying can stop monetary infestations from expanding all over the whole orchard.