Rosy Apple Aphid

Dysaphis plantaginea

Rosy Apple Aphid, Rosy Aphid, Bedstraw Aphid, Bluebug, Grey Aphid, Mealy Apple Aphid, Ash Aphid, Bedstraw Aphid

Dysaphis plantaginea by Zapote (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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A close up of 2 rosy apple aphids Dysaphis plantaginea on a plant
Dysaphis plantaginea by Zapote (CC BY-SA 3.0)
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Deal with aphids organically: Method 4
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Deal with aphids organically: Method 4
Deal with aphids organically: Method 3
Deal with aphids organically: Method 3
Deal with aphids organically: Method 2
Deal with aphids organically: Method 2
Rosy apple aphids are a sap-sucking insect belonging to the order holding the true bugs. Aphids tend to aggregate, forming large colonies on the host plant. To make things worse, these aphids can cause leaves to distort, damaging the fruits of apple trees. As these insects feed they inject saliva containing toxic chemicals back into the plant, and its this which causes the living plant cells to begin to malform. Infestations can quickly become serious, with lighter infections doing substantial damage.


These insects can be detrimental to apple crops. Lighter infestations can do quite a bit of damage.
Research has shown that these insects are heavily predated by earwigs as well as hoverfly, lacewing and ladybird larvae.


Aphid adults are pinkish-grey in colour and can be found near areas of new growth. They are tiny insects growing no bigger than 2.5mm. Nymphs appear like adults, but are smaller and lack wings.


Colonies of pinkish-grey aphids may be evident near areas of new growth in apple from spring to summer. Leaves become yellow and curl. Apples growth becomes stunted. Premature browning of leaves in summer may become evident. The fruits begin to malform early summer.











Europe, the USA, Asia and North Africa.

Biological treatment

By encouraging wildlife to visit your garden you can attract many forms of biocontrol to keep pests at bay, free of cost! Earwigs can be attracted to the site of infection using plant pots stuffed with hay. These can be placed in trees, and you can leave the rest to the insects. Likewise, hoverfly, lacewing and ladybird larvae are all keen predators of aphids. You can encourage these to the garden using various forms of insect hotel, as well as planting pollinator-friendly flowers!

Chemical treatment

You can give plants a plant oil winter wash to eliminate any overwintering eggs. Be sure to cover as much as the available surface area as possible to ensure the best control. Best time to spray your plants is when insects are nymphs as they are more susceptible to sprays. This is best done when the leaf buds start emerging in spring. Spraying plants in summer would be ineffective and a waste of money, with most damage already being inflicted. Organic pesticides sprayed across several applications can be an effective way to control aphid nymphs. Please consider if chemical control is really necessary. If trees are too large, treating with pesticides is often wasteful and expensive. If a chemical option is sought, check with your local garden centre and please take care to follow the manufacturers' instructions. Check with your local regulating body for guidance on active ingredients and their authorisation for use. Plants that are in flower should never be sprayed due to the danger they pose to pollinators.


This aphid will alternate between apple trees and plants of the species Plantago.

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