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Aphids

FAST FACTS - APHIDS
by Nanette Londeree, Master Rosarian

SIGNS

  • Large colonies of tiny insects on and below young flower buds and tender unfolding leaves
  • Molts and / or mummified skins of parasitized aphids
  • Sticky honeydew visible around insects; black sooty mold growing on honeydew
  • Presence of ants

    SYMPTOMS

  • Weakened flower bud necks (pedicles) and distorted leaf growth
  • Possible curling, yellowing, and distortion of leaves and stunting of shoots

    CAUSE

  • Small, pear shaped, soft-bodied insects with long, slender mouth parts that they use to pierce stems, leaves, and other tender plant parts and suck out plant fluids
  • Adults may be green, yellow, brown, red, or black

    OPTIMAL CONDITIONS

  • Mild temperatures, 65 to 80F
  • Presence of succulent new growth on roses
  • Most prevalent along the upwind edge of the garden and close to other sources of aphids
  • High levels of nitrogen fertilizer favor reproduction

    TREATMENT

    Prevention:

  • Check plants regularly to catch infestations early
  • Plant the garden to support natural enemies such as lady beetles, lacewings, syrphid fly larvae
  • Never use more nitrogen than necessary
  • Control ant populations
  • High summer temperatures tend to reduce populations

    Elimination:

  • Knock them to the ground with a strong spray of water
  • Spray with an insecticidal soap

    GOOD GUY / BAD GUY?

  • A bad guy, though generally more of a nuisance pest.


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    Last Modified: 08/06/2013