Aphids of Flowering bulbs

Disease Information


Symptoms and damage

Various species of aphids are pests of flowering bulbs. Aphids are small, soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects. Different aphid species vary in color from yellow to green to pink to black. Adult aphids may or may not have wings.

Aphids are typically more of a problem during cool weather in the spring. They have piercing-sucking mouthparts, and are usually found in clusters feeding on new growth. They insert their mouthparts and suck plant sap. Their feeding can cause deformed growth of leaves and flowers. In addition, as they feed they excrete a sugary material called honeydew, which covers the leaves making them sticky. Sooty mold fungi can grow on the honeydew, producing unsightly, dark splotches on the plant surfaces.


Many natural enemies, including ladybird beetles (ladybugs), lacewings, syrphid flies, damsel bugs and wasps, feed on or are parasites of aphids, generally keeping them under control. Insecticides are available, but aphids are difficult to control with chemicals because of their ability to multiply rapidly. Insecticides also kill the aphids` natural enemies often making the problem more severe. Aphids can be removed with a strong stream of water if applied regularly. When population numbers are low, insecticidal soap can effectively control aphids. Thoroughly spray both leaf surfaces when using insecticidal soap. For more severe infestation, sprays of bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, lambda cyhalothrin or permethrin will control aphids.



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