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The fungi live on honeydew excreted by insects such as aphids, psylla, and whiteflies. When only a few insects are present on host plants excreting only a small amount of honeydew, sooty mold appears in spots. When insect secretions are abundant, the surfaces of leaves and fruit might 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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