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Under certain growth conditions, sucking insects will attack a plant. Normally, they attack the new developing tissue on the top of the plant. As long as climatic conditions remain favorable, these sucking insects will remain on a plant and do significant damage. When the climate changes and the plant once again grows normally, the sucking insects will disappear.


The plant’s natural defense mechanism against sucking insects is the auxin that is produced in the developing new leaf tissue. Under certain climate conditions and moisture conditions, the new plant tissue does not produce sufficient auxin in order to trigger the defense mechanism against sucking insects.
When a plant grows in a normal fashion, sucking insects do not appear. The plant has its natural defense mechanism that will kill them if they try to attack under these conditions, where plants are growing normally.
If growth conditions are such that the plant does not have normal growth (growth of new leaf tissue), the new plant leaf tissue cannot produce sufficient auxin to defend itself against sucking insects. Therefore, during periods of drought or hot temperature, which greatly reduces plant growth, sucking insects can then appear and adequately feed on the new tissue of the developing leaves.
During periods of excessive plant growth, the new tissue quickly transfers auxin out of the new tissue down to the roots of the plant. Therefore, during periods of excessive growth, sucking insects may appear on the plant. Although the plant can produce the auxin, during these excessive growth periods they do not maintain the auxin in the new tissue. Therefore, the new tissue is exposed to the problems of sucking insects.


The protection of a plant, using its natural defense system, is very simple. The application of X-Tra Power every 7 days should help a plant produce and maintain sufficient auxin in order to make it resistant to sucking insects. The rate would be 1 quart per acre. Since auxin has a very short half-life, this treatment needs to be applied every 7 days.
X-Tra Power may be used by itself or it may be used along with a chemical that is reported to help control sucking insects. Many of the sucking insects, however, have become resistant to the insecticides which once controlled sucking insects. This is particularly true on crops such as onions.
The easiest way to control the feeding of sucking insects on the plant is to use the plant’s natural defense mechanism which discourages the sucking insects from feeding on the plant’s new leaf tissue.
J/JHS Articles/PEP Sucking Insects 03107 bc