Description

Aphids are soft-bodied insects that feed on plant juices using piercing-sucking mouthparts. There are many species of aphids and they may be white, yellow, green or black. They may be specific to a single plant or feed on many.

Plants Affected

  • Herbaceous plants, rose, maple, mayday, spruce, elm, and poplar are common host plants.
  • Almost any plant may be affected, including grasses.

Symptoms

The first sign of aphids is the presence of sticky spots (honeydew) on leaves, or a black appearance (sooty mould) on the bark. Heavy feeding causes leaf deformation and curling, followed by leaf death.

Controls

Cultural or Non-chemical Controls:
Can be controlled by knocking them off affected plants with a forceful stream of water when first noticed.  Ladybugs, pirate bugs, ground beetles, parasitoidal wasps, other insects and birds prey heavily on aphids.  Diversifying your yard with a wide selection of shrubs, perennials and groundcovers will boost populations of beneficial insects and songbirds.  Many beneficials overwinter in dead leaves and trash, so leave your garden cleanup until mid-May so you don't accidentally throw them in the trash.

Chemical Controls:
Heavy infestations may require an application of insecticidal soap.

Close up of an Aphid
Juvenile and Mature Aphid
Aphid Infestation
Spruce Tree Aphid Infestation
Wooly Elm Aphids