Honeylocust pod gall midge

Honeylocust pod gall midge

Name: Tetranychus turkesani

Alias: The honeylocust pod gall midge is a very unique insect, because it almost exclusively damages honeylocust trees. It is seen literally nowhere else, and it is so small that it usually goes unnoticed. The most common form of Identification is the damage to the honeylocust tree. Adults emerge in the early spring and lay eggs. The larvae hatch and find a leaf to form a pod, where they remain perfectly protected from the outside world.

Crimes: The tiny fly, or otherwise known as a midge, triggers the leaves in early development to grow a house for the developing insect. The result is a series of small pods where leaves should be forming. While they are generally harmless, they can be unsightly.

Redeeming qualities: None known.

Sentence: Under normal circumstances no control is merited. The honeylocust tree can tolerate a significant infestation without stressing the tree to any degree of significance. However, there are circumstances where a landscaper may not want a series of pods where the leaves should be. In which case the idea would be to apply a dormant oil to the tree prior to the adults emerge in the spring, and a repeat application two to four weeks later. Remember to always read and follow the label instructions.

For more information on dangerous and beneficial bugs, call UI Extension educator Joseph Sagers at 208-745-6685 or email jsagers@uidaho.edu.