This pest is an extremely important pest of citrus, vectoring the disease called Huanglongbing or “greening” disease, a fatal disease of citrus trees. Females deposit up to 800 eggs in their lifetime, placing the eggs on the tips of new shoots of citrus. Over the next 2 to 7 weeks the nymphs pass through 5 instars and become adults, feeding continuously on the new shoots of the host plant. As they feed they produce a toxin that is passed into the plant to cause dieback and distortion of the leaves. They also acquire and vector a bacterium that causes the disease that can kill the tree.
Insecticides will effectively kill the psyllid, but the extent of its spread makes it difficult to eradicate. Agriculture officials also are using the release of beneficial predators and parasites, such as wasps, lacewings, and ladybird beetles, and these have proven effective in some cases.