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Photo by K. Peter.
Sooty mold attacks many plants and is most common on pear, although it can affect all tree fruits and tree nuts.
The fungi live on honeydew excreted by insects such as aphids, psylla, and white flies.
When only a few insects are present on host plants, thus excreting a small amount of honeydew, sooty mold appears in spots. When insect secretions are abundant, the surfaces of leaves and fruit may have a near-continuous coating of the black, tissue paper-thin sooty mold.
Control is directed against the insects producing the honeydew. These insects need to be identified before appropriate controls can be undertaken.
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