Aphids are some of the most common insects found in deciduous and coniferous trees and shrubs. Elm, Ash, and Maple trees are just a few of the tree types that can be attacked by the over 350 species of Aphids. Aphids feed on plant fluids through piercing and sucking, resulting in a discoloration or curling of the leaves, which are often also left sticky by honeydew excreted from the insects. The honeydew is usually not noticed until sooty mold, a black fungus, begins to grow on it. This aphid excrement quite often attracts yellowjackets, hornets and ants.
Aphid eggs are laid in the late summer months and in many cases the eggs winter on the bark or needles. The aphids migrate to their hosts in the spring when the eggs are hatched, and then can create many generations throughout the year, sometimes producing asexually for certain species.
Aphids can be maintained at reduced levels by Lady Beetles and other natural predators. Quite often this is not enough. Early detection is key, as the infestations can spread rapidly if left unattended. Once the Aphids are detected, they can be controlled with a contact pesticide in the areas under new leaves where they tend to gather, but this method is ineffective against those that gather in the leaf curls. Soil injected systemic treatments are a preferred solution that once applied, can keep aphids controlled throughout the growing season.
Contact Plant Health Solutions for proper diagnosis and to develop a treatment plan.