Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Aphids on Shade Trees By Joyce D’Agostino

Aphids photo by Joyce D'agostina
This summer I noticed some distinctive leaf curling on one of our shade trees. In checking it confirmed that there were aphids (lots of them) infesting this tree. The leaf curling in one sign of the damage that these insects can do. It is not only unsightly but left unchecked it can do damage to your tree.
Fortunately there are some solutions to reducing or ridding these insects from your plants. Aphids are very small, soft bodied insects. Using your hose on a hard stream, you can target the areas with a strong blast of water. This is very effective and if used regularly will reduce the population of these insects on your trees and plants. Check an area first with the water hose setting to ensure that you don’t damage the plant.  I noticed when I used this method that it did help remove a lot of the aphids from the curled leaves.  
Ladybeetles and Green Lacewings are also great natural predators of aphids. If you see these insects in your garden, moving them to the aphid area is very helpful.  Both of these insects are known to be able to eat a large amount of aphids, so make them a great non chemical use to help with aphid control.
Refer to these bulletins for more information on identifying and controlling the aphids.