Aphids

    Aphids (General)

    Aphididae

    green peach aphids

    Adult and nymph green peach aphids (David Cappaert, Bugwood.org)

    black cherry aphids

    Black cherry aphid life stages (Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)

    sooty mold

    Sooty mold on lower leaf (Daren Mueller, Iowa State University, Bugwood.org)

    Pest Description

    • most less than 1/8 inch; over 500 aphid species in Utah
    • range in color from green, yellow, purple, red to black
    • teardrop to oval in shape with two “pipes” (cornicles) sticking out the rear end
    • some aphids excrete a white, cottony substance
    • may or may not have wings

    Host Plants, Diet & Damage

    • some are host specific; some feed on multiple host plants
    • feed on plant sap using straw-like mouthparts
    • can feed on roots, trunk, stems or leaves
    • can cause twisting, cupping, leaf rolling, galls and unsightly cottony masses
    • do not typically cause major tree/plant health issues
    • exude honeydew onto plants, homes and cars
    • sooty mold growing on honeydew can be unsightly
    • mass fall migrations can sometimes cause alarm
    • some transmit plant diseases

    Biology, Life Cycle & Damaging Life Stage

    • life cycles are variable depending on aphid species
    • overwinter as eggs outdoors
    • mating may occur; females can give birth to living young
    • wings may form during migrations between hosts or when populations become too high
    • nymphs and adults are the damaging life stages

    IPM Recommendations

    • Little negative effect on tree health; tolerate pest.
    • Wash off aphids with a strong stream of water.
    • Apply horticultural oils to overwintering eggs in spring.
    • Apply insecticidal soap to nymphs and adults.
    • Apply a systemic insecticide (neonicitinoid) in the spring.
    • Apply a cover spray (pyrethroids) when aphids are present.