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ENY-320 Aphids on Landscape Plants 1E. A. Buss2 1. This document is ENY-320 (MG002), one of a series of the Department of Entomology and Nematology, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Date rst printed, October 1993. Revised: October 2010. Please visit the EDIS Website at http://edis.ifas.u.edu 2. E A. Buss, assistant professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, 32611. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or aliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Millie Ferrer-Chancy, Interim DeanAphids or plant lice may infest almost any plant. ey are more commonly found on camellia, crape-myrtle, gardenia, hibiscus, ixora, oak, oleander, ornamental grasses, palm, rose, as well as nearly all annual plants. Aphids have piercing-sucking mouthparts and cause damage by sucking the plant juices. However, their ability to transmit plant viruses may be more harmful than any direct feeding damage. Aphids (Figure 1) are so bodied pear-shaped insects generally less than 1/8 inch long. ey may be green, black, brown, pink, yellow, blue or creamy-white in color. Most aphids are wingless but when colonies become overcrowded or the host plant becomes undesirable, winged forms are produced which establish new colonies. Aphids have two short cornicles or tubes at the end of their bodies, or spots to indicate where the corricles should be. ese insects are commonly found on the stems or undersides of young leaves in small colonies. Most aphids feed on the new plant growth. eir feeding makes the leaves curl or crinkle (Figure 2) and ower buds may become hardened, causing the owers to be distorted. Aphids have complex life cycles, and some species may alternate generations on dierent hosts (e.g., a tree and then a grass species). ese pests are unlike many other insects in two ways: almost all are females that reproduce without mating, and most give birth to living young instead of laying eggs. Aphids have the ability to reproduce rapidly and there are many generations per year. Each female aphid produces 50 to 100 daughters during her life span and each daughter can reproduce within 6 to 8 days. Aphids as well as so scales, mealybugs, and whiteies excrete large amounts of honeydew which provides an excellent medium for the growth of a black fungus called sooty mold. Besides being unattractive, sooty mold may interfere with photosynthesis and retard plant growth. Sooty mold usually weathers away following control of an insect infestation. Ants feed on the honeydew and when ants are observed, plants should be examined closely for these sucking pests. Figure 1. Rusty plum aphid.
2Benecial InsectsSome examples of aphid predators are lady beetles (adults and larvae), hover y larvae, assassin bugs, ambush bugs and spiders. Aphids that have a small hole in a bloatedlooking body (Figure 3) have been parasitized by tiny wasps. If predators are present or the pests show signs of parasitism, every eort should be made to preserve the benecial insects. Delay applying a pesticide until damage appears, and provide the benecials an opportunity to control the pest populations. Inspecting PlantsExamine your plants weekly during the spring, summer, and fall. Look at the undersides of a few leaves on each plant and observe the stems for aphids, especially the new growth. e use of a 10 to 15 power hand lens or magnifying glass aids in detection and identication. Learn to determine when aphids are present in damaging numbers and to evaluate the potential of the predator or parasite population. To aid in locating aphids, a sheet of white paper or cloth may be held beneath the leaves and the foliage struck sharply. e insects will fall onto the paper and can be more easily observed and identied than on the green foliage. Non-Insecticidal ControlMany homeowners can remove aphids and keep populations below damaging levels by spraying their landscape plants with a forceful stream of water. Use a garden hose with an adjustable nozzle and spray undersides of leaves and stems when the aphids appear. Soaps are available that are formulated for controlling insects and related pests. If one of the commercial soaps is unavailable, 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid (do not use those containing a degreaser or an automatic dishwashing soap or detergent) per gallon of water may be applied as a foliar spray to woody plants. Use 2 tablespoons for bedding, foliage and owering plants. Repeat at weekly intervals as needed. Soap is eective in controlling aphids, safe for people and the environment. Many homeowners can remove aphids and keep populations below damaging levels by spraying their landscape plants with a forceful stream of water. Use a garden hose with an adjustable nozzle and spray undersides of leaves and stems when the aphids appear. Soaps are available that are formulated for controlling insects and related pests. If one of the commercial soaps is unavailable, 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid (do not use those containing a degreaser or an automatic dishwashing soap or detergent) per gallon of water may be applied as a foliar spray to woody plants. Use 2 tablespoons for bedding, foliage and owering plants. Repeat at weekly intervals as needed. Soap is eective in controlling aphids, safe for people and the environment. Insecticidal ControlUsually aphids are not dicult to control with insecticides. But, plants may become re-infested from adjacent areas Figure 2. Black citrus aphid on camelia. Figure 3. Healthy (yellow) and parasitized (brown/swollen) oleander aphids.
3throughout the year. For control, apply one of the suggested insecticides (see Table 1) if aphids are beginning to damage the plants. Spray the plants to the point of run-o. Be especially careful to cover the undersides of the leaves and all parts of the twigs thoroughly. Continue to inspect the plants periodically especially new ushes of growth and apply an insecticide if plants become re-infested. Table 1. Insecticides labeled for commercial and non-commercial (homeowner) use against aphids in Floria. Active IngredientChemical Class Retail/Homeowner Product Examples Professional Product Acephate Organophosphate Bonide Systemic Insect Control Acephate Pro 75 Orthene Turf, Tree & Ornamental Spray Abamectin Macrocydic LactoneNone Avid Acetamiprid Neonicotinoid Ortho Max Flower, Fruit & Vegetable Insect KillerTriStar Azadirachtin Botanical Safer: BioNEEM Insecticide & Repellant Ready to Spray or Concentrate Azatin XL Bifenthrin Pyrethroid Ortho Bug-B-Gon Max Lawn & Garden Insect KillerTalstar Flowable, GC, Nursery Carbaryl Carbamate GardenTech Sevin Sevin SL Sevin 80 WSP Clothianidin Neonicotinoid None Cyuthrin Pyrethroid Bayer Advanced Power Force Multi-insect Killer Bayer Advanced Rose & Flower Insect KillerSchultz Lawn & Garden Insect Killer Arena Celero 16 Deltamethrin Pyrethroid Green Light House & Yard DeltaGard T&O SC DeltaGard GC 5SC* Dinotefuran Neonicotinoid Green Light Tree & Shrub Insect Control with Safari 2G Safari 20 SG Flonicamid Neonicotinoid None Aria Gamma-cyhalothrinPyrethroid Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer Once & Done! Concentrate and Ready to Spray Horticultural OilBotanical Natria Multi Insect Control Ready to Spray or Concentrate Sunspray 6E, 11E Triact 70 Imidacloprid Neonicotinoid Bayer Advanced Lawn & Complete Insect Killer Bayer Advanced 12 Month Garden Tree & Shrub Insect ControlBayer Advanced 2 in 1 Systemic Rose & Flower CareOrtho Max Tree & Shrub Insect Control Ready to Spray Marathon 1% Marathon 60 G&N WSPMarathon IIMerit 2, 75 Lambda-cyhalothrinPyrethroid Spectracide Triazicide Once & Done Insect Killer Cutter Backyard Bug Control Concentrate Demand CS Scimitar Malathion Organophosphate Hi-Yield 55% Malathion Spray Southern Ag 5% Malathion DustSouthern Ag Malathion 50% E.C. Malathion 5, 8, 8E, 8F, 8 Spray, 57 EC Neem Oil Southern Ag Triple Action Neem Oil Azatin Permethrin Pyrethroid Bonide Yard & Garden Insect Killer Spectracide Bug Stop Insect KillerSpectracide Rose & Flower Insect SprayPermetrol Lawn InsecticideSpectracide Immunox Plus Insect & Disease Control Mulit-Purpose Concentrate Astro AmbushPermethrin pro TermiteTurf Ornamental