About the Suckfly
Reproduction and Life Cycle
The suckfly will spend the winter in wooded areas close to tobacco fields. Prior to harvest, about 6 weeks, they will make an appearance and begin feeding. Eggs are placed in leaf veins and take about 4 days to hatch as long as the temperature is around 82 degrees Fahrenheit. The newly hatched nymphs will eat the leaves of host plants from the underside, and go through 5 molts in 14 days before developing into an adult.
Suckfly Identification and Habitat
The adults are extremely mobile plant bugs that are approximately 3 to 4mm in length. They have long antennae, are usually black and green in colour with 6 slender, long legs. The nymphs are green and have reddish eyes; there body is equipped with 4 wing pads that go all the way to the second segment of the abdomen. The female’s abdomen tends to be wider with the males having a more slender and flatter appearance. Eggs are paddle-shaped and are between 0.6 and 0.7mm in length.
The suckfly tends to present itself in tobacco-growing regions, especially throughout the southern and southeastern states. They can cause serious damage when found in large numbers; this will often occur late in the summer season which poses a concern for tobacco farmers, especially for those growing flue-cured tobacco. While this pest mainly feeds on tobacco, they also like horsenettle and tomato plants. They will eat leaves and can suck out the plants sap. This will reduce plant quality, and can cause chlorosis. Suckflies also leave behind gummy, black excrement that can have an effect on the curing process.
Suckfly Management and Control Methods
Management methods should only be used once the suckfly reaches the economic threshold, which is when approximately 25 percent of plants show signs of damage.
Insecticidal soaps have shown to be successful with the suckfly.
Latin / Alternative Suckfly Names