Sooty Mould a fungal bi-product of the honeydew excreted by sap sucking insects like aphids and mealy bugs. It will weaken your fruit salad tree if it is stressed.
Plant Part: Leaves
Symptoms: Black soot like substance found on the leaves and branches.
Control: By removing the aphids; the sooty mold will eventually dry and flake off.
ANTS attracted to the honeydew excreted by aphids, scale and mealy bugs or if you have left your fruit on the tree to long and it is over-ripe.
Symptoms: Ants in your plants
Control: Generally, removal of the honeydew producing pest will do the trick with a dose of soapy water. If the infestation is quite bad then consider ‘tree-trunk banding as easy method to stop ants in their tracks. (see your local nursery).
Prevention: Keeping your orchard clean and free of weeds and encouraging beneficial pollinators and insects like bees, parasitic wasps, ladybirds and hoverflies to your garden will keep these pests at bay. Companion planting a few tansy herbs nearby will also deter the ants.
Reference: Sustainable Gardening Australia, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Citrus plant protection guide 2020 and of course of FST team.
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