Insect Problems - Aphids


SYMPTOMS

Yellow spots form on leaves caused by the feeding activity of the aphids. Leaves will often become cupped or distorted. Feeding activity may also cause reduced flowering. Often, honeydew (a sticky substance) will be found on the tree and on plants growing below. Sooty mold, a black fungus that grows on the honeydew may also be present.

aphid 1

Aphids are commonly found feeding
on the underside of new leaves.

DESCRIPTION OF PEST

The Crapemyrtle Aphid is very small (approximately 1/8 inch) and yellowish-green. Their soft bodies are sparsely covered with dark, stout hairs. They have long antennae which sweep over their back. They may or may not have wings. Wings are transparent with translucent brown veins, and extend beyond the abdomen.

LIFE CYCLE

Crapemyrtle Aphids survive the winter as eggs which have been laid in cracks and crevices in twigs or under bud scales. The eggs hatch in the spring where the aphids begin feeding on the succulent new growth. After about 10 days, this first generation of aphids, which are all female, begin giving birth to live young at the rate of up to one every 30 minutes. All of these offspring are also female and will begin bearing after approximately 10 more days. Multiple generations occur through the growing season in this same fashion until fall when male aphids will be produced for mating to form the overwintering eggs.

aphid 2

Crapemyrtle Aphid
Tinocallis kahawaluokalani

MANAGEMENT

The following varieties have shown to be somewhat resistant to the Crapemyrtle aphid: `Acoma,' `Apalache,' `Biloxi,' 'Caddo,' `Choctaw,' 'Comanche,' `Fantasy,' `Hopi,' `Lipan,' `Miami,' `Muskogee,' `Natchez,' `Osage,' `Pecos,' `Sioux,', 'Tuscarora,' `Tuskegee,' `Wichita,' `Yuma,' `Tonto,' and Zuni.'

aphid 3

Sooty mold is often present on trees
infested with aphids.

CHEMICAL

There are many insecticides labeled for control of aphids. Insecticidal soaps are an environmentally friendly option. The key with using the soap sprays is that it has to contact the aphids when you spray so thorough coverage is essential. Dormant oil sprays can be used to help kill the overwintering eggs; again, thorough coverage is essential for control. When using any pesticide, always read, understand and follow the label directions.

BIOLOGICAL

Aphids are the favorite food of many beneficial insects. Lady beetles and their larvae, green lace wing larvae, parasitic wasps, and serphid fly larvae are excellent aphid predators. Learn to identify these beneficial insects and limit your pesticide use when they are present.

aphid 4

The immature form (larvae) of a
Lady Beetle - a predator of aphids.


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