Black Cherry Aphids – A Guide To Managing Black Cherry Aphids
What are Black Cherry Aphids?
Aphids are small insects which feed on various types of plants. They have been known since ancient times. These tiny bugs usually appear in clusters or singly and they cause damage to the leaves, stems, flowers and fruit of certain trees such as cherry, apple, pear and plum.
The black cherry aphid (Podisus maculiventris) is one of the most common black cherry aphids found in North America. It feeds on both young and mature cherries. The adult female lays eggs on the undersides of leaves, where they hatch into larvae within two weeks. Larvae develop inside the leaf tissue until they pupate before emerging as adults in three months.
How Do Black Cherry Aphids Affect Trees?
Black cherry aphids attack many different types of trees including but not limited to:
Pines (Pinus sylvestris), Douglas fir (Abies tridentata), white pine ( Pinus albicaulis) and western red cedar ( Quercus rubra ) all are susceptible to black cherry aphid infestation.
Other types of trees such as hazel (Corylus avellana), beech (Fagus orientalis), bird cherry (Prunus padus), crab apple (Malus spp), willow (Salix spp) and elm (Ulmus spp) are also at risk.
How to Get Rid of Black Cherry Aphids?
Can natural predators control black cherry aphid infestations?
Many types of natural predators feed on black cherry aphids. These beneficial insects include lacewings, ladybugs, hoverflies and aphid lions. Most insect predators prefer to feed on them when they are in their larvae stage. It is possible that their feeding may reduce the infestation of the black cherry aphid.
How to control black cherry aphids with insecticides?
Some trees are resistant to aphid infestations. If the tree is susceptible to infestation, an insecticide may be used to kill them.
The insecticides are applied as either a drench, a dessicant or a spray.
Drenching involves injecting the insecticide into the tree’s root zone. The aphids in the branches succumb through ingested or physical contact with the chemical.
Dessication involves applying an insecticide which kills aphids on physical contact.
Spraying involves applying an insecticide onto the tree’s foliage. Some of the spray is absorbed through the leaves and some is washed off into the ground.
Sources & references used in this article:
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