Aphids are small, pesky insects that can affect many types of flora, such as trees, flowers, shrubs, and more. Typically, you can find them on leaves or fruit. They are very common in gardens during the spring and are luckily controllable if you catch the problem early on.
If you leave the problem for too long, aphids can rapidly reproduce and thus kill your tree or plant. If you see aphids on trees in your yard, act quickly to contain the spread and save your garden.
Keep reading for advice from a professional tree service in Boynton Beach, ECO Tree Experts, on how to manage an aphid infestation. Today we will explain how to identify aphids and how to get rid of them.
How to Recognize Aphids
There are a few species of aphids, meaning they might be green, yellow, brown, gray, or a variety of other colors. They are very small, less than ¼ inch, and tend to feed on trees and plants in big groups.
The easiest way to check if your plants have aphids is to check for big groups of tiny bugs on the undersides of leaves and/or look for symptoms of an infestation.
Signs of an Aphid Infestation
Though each aphid species can have a different effect on your plants, some common symptoms can indicate the presence of aphids. The most common signs of aphids are:
- Sap-like residue throughout your property: Aphids love to eat sap. You will see their waste, known as “honeydew” due to the high sugar content produced from sap-sucking, on the affected plant and other parts of your property (patio furniture, driveways, etc.)
- Yellowing/curling leaves: If you see yellowing or curling leaves on your tree, be sure to check their undersides. A number of aphids hide under leaves because they can access the plant’s sugar content from the veins more easily.
- Galls: Galls, which are swollen, ball-like formations on the leaves, stems, and roots of plants, can sometimes indicate aphids on trees.
- Mold on leaves: The honeydew residue that aphids leave behind provides an ample food source for mold to flourish on trees and plants. This mold is black, meaning the leaves and branches will look sooty and blackened from it.
- Heightened presence of ants or yellow jackets: Honeydew also attracts many insects such as ants and yellow jackets due to the high sugar content. You might see ant trails or yellow jackets circling the canopy of the affected tree.
How to Resolve an Aphid Problem
The best methods of aphid control on trees are:
- Squirt the bugs and leaves with cold water, which should knock off the aphids and prevent them from climbing the same tree.
- Spray the leaves down with a mix of dish soap and water every other day for two weeks. Make sure the blend is mild. You can also add cayenne pepper to further damage the insects.
- Use natural predators, such as parasitic wasps and lady beetles, to eat aphids or lay eggs in them, thus decimating the aphid population.
- Use flour to coat all plants and trees where aphids are present. They will eat the flour and become constipated.
Need Help from a Professional Arborist? | Tree Removal Service in West Palm Beach, FL
If you still have aphids on trees around your property after attempting these methods of aphid removal, contact an arborist. ECO Tree Experts has experience in helping over 600 customers in Boynton Beach, FL with residential and commercial tree problems.