Sooty mould

The term "sooty mould" refers to a number of fungal organisms that are found in correspondence with honeydew produced by insects, such as aphids, whiteflies, and scale insects: they use sugary substances contained in the honeydew for their growth.

The "sooty mould" appears as a dark blackish haze, resembling soot, hence the name. Sooty mould does not harm the plants directly, but indirectly: covering its leaves with a dark patina reduces photosynthetic activity, weakening the plants.

Furthermore, this coating causes aesthetic damage to the plants and the fruits, which must be cleaned before being consumed. Leaves, buds, twigs and fruits of many plants, both herbaceous and woody, are affected. The development of sooty mould is aided by high humidity and elevated temperatures.

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