Tree Aphid Identification and Infestation Control Methods

Here, you’ll learn about aphid infestation and how to control these pest problems.

The action of pests on plants is no news as some feed on plant juices or target the same for nesting (such as beetle larvae).

Aphids on trees create many problems, including removing plant nutrients and damage. Their feeding action and presence lead to all kinds of symptoms.

Fast identification of such symptoms allows for better responses regarding appropriate treatments. You’ll find this article highly informative if you suspect having tree aphids.

We discuss the impact of aphids on trees, symptoms, preventive measures, and several other aspects of aphid infestation.

Aphid Infestation On Large Trees

Tree aphids come in different variants ranging from rosy apple aphids, aphis, wooly apple aphids, black cherry aphids, and black bean aphids.

Others include the Mealy plum aphid, Macrosiphum rosae, Brachycaudus helichrysi, elm leaf beetle, Acyrthosiphon Pisum, Oleander aphid, elm, and green peach aphid, among others.

There are over 4,000 known species of aphids.

Of these species, around 250 are pests of crops and ornamental plants. Due to the many species available, it is logical to give a general characteristic of their appearance and the damage caused.

Aphids are primarily soft-bodied pear-shaped insects with no specific color designation. In other words, you’ll find aphids in almost every color, depending on their species.

They’re all known for sucking off tree and plant fluid using their specialized mouthparts.

You’ll mostly find aphids in clusters beneath tree leaves. These pests specifically target vulnerable points, including tender young shoots, buds, and moments when leaves attach to the stem.

The most common types of aphids found on trees are woolly, green, and brown.

Are Aphids Visible?

We mentioned earlier that there are several aphid varieties.

However, not all are visible to the naked eye. For those visuals, you’ll mainly notice their presence from the white fluff beneath tree leaves.

Sometimes, these can be seen on the stem, especially at points where recent pruning was done.

Ordinarily, the minimal activity of aphids on trees won’t present much of a problem as trees can thrive. However, the increased activity of aphids on trees leads to various issues.

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With nutrients constantly being sucked out of trees by these parasites, there’s a need to act before it worsens.

While certain aphid species may not be entirely visible, their damage is. So, when trying to figure out the presence of tree aphids, you only need to look for common symptoms.

Such symptoms are mainly in the form of yellow spots on tree leaves.

Symptoms of Tree Aphids

While you have difficulty spotting aphids on trees, your best bet will be to look out for common symptoms.

These aren’t difficult to figure out as long as you know what to look for. One of the things you might notice on your trees is the appearance of honeydew.

This clear, sticky substance is a by-product of the feeding activity of aphids. Aphids suck on tree sap and can sometimes take in more juice than they can use.

The excess sap is what comes out as honeydew. It’s a mixture of water and sugar.

Now honeydew by itself won’t necessarily pose any harm to your tree. However, the issue lies in what follows after.

All kinds of insects are attracted to the sugary substance from your tree and come around for a feast. This affects your tree in multiple ways.

What more? Mildew may lead to mold growth (sooty mold), which can harm the tree. Decay is only one of several observable symptoms resulting from tree aphid-feeding activities.

Other symptoms include wilting stems & leaves, leaf discoloration, and premature leaf drop.

The most serious harm inflicted on trees by aphids is infection with the disease. That is because aphids are common vectors for a wide range of conditions.

Over a hundred viral diseases can be transmitted through aphid presence and activity on a tree. Your trees may show signs of infection due to the prolonged fact and activity of aphids.

Aphid Treatment for Trees

Whether adopting a DIY approach to treatment or calling for professional help, the goal is to resolve the problem caused by aphids.

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Of the two approaches, professional treatment is most recommended as it offers a more thorough approach to treatment.

An arborist inspects and determines the extent of the aphids spread on trees and adopts a more suitable treatment procedure.

Different treatment options for aphids include the introduction of natural predators and the use of contact insecticide spray & insecticide granules.

More treatment options include washing out aphids and using organic spot spray.

i. Introduction of Natural Predators

When it comes to tree aphid control, you need to consider the options available.

Biological control using predators is helpful, especially when aphid infestation isn’t severe or full-blown.

Here, predators like certain species of wasps, ladybirds, and chameleons would prove helpful in containing the problem.

ii. Use of Contact Insecticide Spray & Insecticide Granules

Contact insecticide sprays for pests like tree aphids prove highly useful. Great products to consider include Garden Ripcord.

This pyrethroid-based insecticide does a whole lot to eliminate tree aphids. For treatment to be complete, consider using insecticide granules for future prevention of tree aphids.

iii. Aphid Washout

Sometimes, a simple approach, such as hosing the tree, may help to fix your aphid problem. For this to be possible, a strong stream of water is needed.

Washing out or dislodging tree aphids with a strong water jet ensures the problem(s) caused by them is effectively resolved.

iv. Use of Organic Spot Spray

Organic spot spray is another treatment approach that can be used to fix tree aphid problems.

Organic pyrethroid-based insecticides help eliminate tree aphids while being harmless to natural predators. This type of treatment can be combined with organic horticultural oils.

Here, you can successfully eliminate tree aphids while not harming your trees and valuable allies like natural predators.

You’ll find helpful information on effective treatment measures if you have a tree aphid problem. More importantly, calling for professional help will go a long way to fixing your problem.