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Aphids Diagnostic Guide

Aphids are the most common insect found on trees and shrubs. There are many species of aphids that feed on numerous hosts. Aphids use their piercing sucking mouthparts to extract sap from the tender, new growth of plants. While aphid feeding does not look good, it usually doesn’t cause serious damage to plants. However, aphids do excrete a sticky substance called honeydew that can be a real nuisance, as it gets all over sidewalks, vehicles, etc.

Trees at Risk

As the most common insect found on trees and shrubs and with over 350 different species, aphids feed on numerous species of trees. Some of the most common trees to be attacked by aphids include ash, birch, spruce, willow, apple, and elm trees.

Birch

Crab Apple

Elm

Spruce

Willow

Ash

Signs of Damage

  • Aphid feeding causes curled, discolored leaves.
  • Feeding aphids excrete honeydew making the plant sticky.
  • A black fungus called sooty mold may be growing on the honeydew.
aphids-signs2

E. Bradford Walker, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Bugwood.org

aphids-signs1

John A. Weidhass, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Bugwood.org

Physical Appearance

  • Aphids are slow moving, oval to pear-shaped insects ranging in size from 1/16” to 1/8” long.
  • Coloring is species-specific and may be black, brown, green, red, pink, or other color.
  • Pipe-like protrusions extending off the back of the insect are visible with a hand lens.
  • Some aphids have transparent wings.
aphids-appearance

Albert (Bud) Mayfield, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Treatment Strategy

Early detection is key in reducing infestations of aphids. Examine areas near the buds and on the undersides of the new leaves for aphids. When natural enemies, like the lady beetle, are not sufficient in keeping the population in check, insecticides are very effective for controlling aphids. Contact insecticides can be used on exposed aphids, but are not effective against species that develop in leaf curls. Soil applied systemic insecticides are also very effective and can be applied once in the fall or spring to deliver control throughout the growing season.

  • Soil Application using Xytect 2F

    Dosage: 0.2 oz/inch of DBH
    Timing: Early Spring or fall
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Xytect 2F
    Xytect 2F
    $69.60
  • Soil Application using Xytect 75WSP 22 packets

    Dosage: 1 packet treats 48 inches of DBH
    Timing: Early spring or fall
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets
    $148.00
  • Foliar Spray using Xytect 75WSP 22 packets

    Dosage: 1 packet/300 gallons water
    Timing: As pest appear
    Re-Treatment: As needed
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets
    Xytect 75WSP 22 packets
    $148.00
  • Tree Injection using Xytect 10%

    Dosage: 1.5 ml/inch DBH for trees 10 to 36 inches DBH
    Timing: Early spring – summer, ideally 1-3 weeks before pests are actively feeding
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Xytect 10%
    Xytect 10%
    $453.96
  • Tree Injection using Xytect 10%

    Dosage: 2 ml/inch DBH for trees 36 inches DBH and above
    Timing: Early spring – summer, ideally 1-3 weeks before pests are actively feeding
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Xytect 10%
    Xytect 10%
    $453.96
  • Tree Injection using Xytect 10%

    Dosage: For heavier infestation and/or more resistant insects, use 1.5 ml or 2 ml rates on trees having a DBH of 2 inches and above
    Timing: Early spring – summer, ideally 1-3 weeks before pests are actively feeding
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Xytect 10%
    Xytect 10%
    $453.96
  • Soil Application using Transtect

    Dosage: 1 packet/5 – 17 inches DBH
    Timing: Early spring – summer (as pests appear)
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Transtect
    Transtect
    $326.00
  • Systemic Bark Spray using Transtect

    Dosage: 6 packets/1 gallon water (1.5 – 2 oz/inch DBH) trees < 24 inches DBH
    Timing: Early spring – summer (as pests appear)
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Transtect
    Transtect
    $326.00
  • Systemic Bark Spray using Transtect

    Dosage: 6-12 packets/on water (1.5 – 2 oz/inch DBH) trees > 24 inches DBH
    Timing: Early spring – summer (as pests appear)
    Re-Treatment: Annually
    Transtect
    Transtect
    $326.00
  • Foliar Spray using Transtect

    Dosage: 1 packet/25 – 50 gallons water
    Timing: As pest appear
    Re-Treatment: As needed
    Transtect
    Transtect
    $326.00
  • Soil Application using Lepitect

    Dosage: 0.2 – 0.4 oz/inch DBH
    Timing: Begin applications early summer, just before eggs hatch.
    Re-Treatment: Follow up applications can be made at 30 day intervals as needed.
    Lepitect
    Lepitect
    $59.20
  • Foliar Spray using Up-Star Gold

    Dosage: 10.8 oz/100 gallons water
    Timing: Begin applications early summer, just before eggs hatch.
    Re-Treatment: Applications can be made at 30 day intervals as needed.
    Up-Star Gold
    Up-Star Gold
    $33.33
  • Foliar Spray using Orthene TT&O WSP

    Dosage: 10 2/3 oz/100 gallons water
    Timing: As pest appear
    Re-Treatment: Applications can be made at 30 day intervals as needed.
    Orthene TT&O WSP
    Orthene TT&O WSP
    $15.20
  • Foliar Spray using Tengard

    Dosage: 4 oz/100 gallons water
    Timing: As pest appear
    Re-Treatment: Applications can be made at 30 day intervals as needed.
    Tengard
    Tengard
    $59.77

Treatment Expectations

Aphids are an easily controlled pest with Xytect™. Biological control can be aided by lady beetles and green lacewings.

A Diagnostic Guide is designed to help you identify a pest issue and management solutions. Always refer to product label for all rates and approved uses. Some images courtesy forestryimages.org. Use of the images does not imply endorsement of treatments by forestryimages.org

Tech Support: 1-877-272-6747 or info@treecarescience.com