AphidsThere are many species of aphids and all are a bit different in appearance, biology and the host plants attacked. They are most commonly seen on viburnum, birch, tulip, linden, crape myrtle and crabapple trees. These insects feed by sucking nutrients from the leaf which weakens the tree. A foliar treatment is applied to the leaves and results in controlling aphid populations by disrupting their life cycle.
Aphids are soft and plump bodied, have long spindly legs, are often wingless and posses cornicles, which immediately distinguish them from other insects. Excess sap from feeding activities is expelled as a clear liquid that still contains many plant sugars; this waste is known as honeydew. Honeydew appears as clear drops of liquid on foliage, as well as whatever is under a plant housing aphids. Honeydew acts as a food source for a group of fungi known as sooty molds. These molds colonize the honeydew and become very black, hence the name. Heavy populations of sooty mold can make a plant quite unattractive and even interfere with the process of photosynthesis.
Aphid Life Cycle
- Fall - winged females lay eggs on primary host and then die
- Spring – eggs hatch to be wingless females
- Summer - winged females disperse from primary plant to find secondary host
- Winged males and females seek primary host plant
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