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:

Effects of the landscape context on aphid-ant-predator interactions on cherry trees by S Stutz, MH Entling – Biological Control, 2011 – Elsevier

Aphids as crop pests by HF Van Emden, R Harrington – 2017 – books.google.com

Assessment of the effectiveness of plant-derived pesticides in controlling the black cherry aphid Myzus cerasi F. in organic growing of sweet cherry by W Danelski, T Badowska-Czubik… – Journal of Research and …, 2015 – yadda.icm.edu.pl

… study of enzymes from cereal aphid populations. V. Spatial and temporal genetic similarity of holocyclic populations of the bird-cherry oat aphid, Rhopalosiphum padi … by HD Loxdale, CP Brookes – Bulletin of Entomological Research, 1988 – cambridge.org

Effect of Entomopathogenic Nematodes, on the Black Cherry Aphid, Myzus cerasi (F.)(Hemiptera: Aphididae). by K İlker, B İnal, T Atay… – Egyptian Journal of …, 2014 – search.ebscohost.com

Effect of temperature and cultivar on pea aphid, Acyrthosiphon pisum (Hemiptera: Aphididae) life history by D Morgan, KFA Walters… – Bulletin of entomological …, 2001 – search.proquest.com

Root and Shoot Responses to Bird Cherry‐Oat Aphids and Barley yellow dwarf virus in Spring Wheat by WE Riedell, RW Kieckhefer, MAC Langham… – Crop …, 2003 – Wiley Online Library

Wing dimorphism in aphids by C Braendle, GK Davis, JA Brisson, DL Stern – Heredity, 2006 – nature.com

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