Aphids Of Maple

Disease Information

Aphids

Symptomsand damage

 Aphids are soft-bodied insects that range from 1/16 to ? inch long. They may be green, yellowish, pink, gray or black. They feed by piercing plant tissue and sucking plant sap. They prefer feeding on new growth in such areas as shoots, buds and the undersides of leaves. As they feed on plant sap, they excrete honeydew (a sugary material). The sooty mold fungus feeds on the honeydew, resulting in unsightly, dark fungal growth.Woolly alder aphid (Paraprociphilus tessellatus) is gray to black in color. It gets its name from the fluffy, white wax found on its abdomen. It requires alder and silver maple to complete its life cycle. Occasionally, it is found on red maple. Colonies of these pests are obvious because of their white, fuzzy appearance. They are usually seen on leaves, twigs or bark. Although infested leaves shrivel and drop early, the pests cause little permanent damage. As a result of the honeydew, sidewalks and cars become sticky.

Management

Several natural enemies, such as ladybird beetles (ladybugs) and lacewings feed on aphids. As much as possible, these predators should be allowed to reduce aphid populations. Controlling this pest on a large tree using chemicals is expensive and often not practical. Since little permanent damage results from woolly alder aphids, tolerating some damage is a good choice. As a result of their phenomenal ability to reproduce, aphids are very difficult to control with insecticides. Leaving one aphid alive can result in the production of a new colony very quickly. In addition, the use of insecticides kills the beneficial insects that normally keep aphid populations under control.

However, if natural predators do not reduce aphid populations sufficiently, the following foliar spray insecticides are recommended: cyfluthrin, lambda cyhalothrin, permethrin, bifenthrin, pyrethrin and neem oil. Treat when aphids appear and repeat at seven- to 10-day intervals, if needed. As an alternative, dinotefuran or imidacloprid can be applied as a drench around the root zone of aphid-infested plants and is systemically taken up by the root system for insect control ..

 



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