Lupin Aphid

Macrosiphum albifrons

Lupin Aphid

Photo by echosmama (CC BY 4.0)
1 of 2
A close up photo of a Macrosiphum albifrons Lupin aphid colony
Photo by echosmama (CC BY 4.0)
1 of 2
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
A lupin aphid is a sap-sucking insect fairly large in size. These insects are native to North America, specialising its feeding Lupin plants. Its distribution is now widespread across Britain after their arrival in the 80s.
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Traits

Heavy infestations can cause lupin plants to wilt.
A food resource for predatory insects like ladybirds and their larvae.

Appearance

Adults are large and green-white reaching 4mm total. They form colonies under leaves and on the spikes of lupin. Nymphs tend to look like adults but are smaller in size, a slightly paler green, and lacking wings.

Symptoms

Heavy infestations can cause lupins to wilt, eventually collapsing. Lupins may become covered with copious amounts of honeydew. Honeydew can cause more problems, like attracting fungi and other problematic insects to the area. Plant foliage becomes covered in copious amounts of honeydew. Honeydew attracts black mould to the infested area. It looks like large black smudges.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hemiptera

Family

Aphididae

Metamorphosis

Incomplete

Distribution

America and Europe

Biological treatment

Spraying plants with water may dislodge the insects. General good housekeeping can help prevent any insect pest infestation. Before planting, be mindful of the space you leave between crops and shrubs. Too many weeds and plant debris can facilitate a bad infestation. Planting strong-smelling herbs such as basil, chive and mint are believed to deter aphid activity. Aphids aggregate in areas of new growth, so be sure to check in all the nooks of plants. Aphids can also be treated with a strong jet of water to dislodge them from the plant; or, a light, soapy mixture applied to the plant or even just squashing them. A mixture of tomato leaf and distilled water is believed to deter aphids. Once the leaves are drained, dilute the remaining mix with 1-2 cups of water. Tomato plants contain the same allergens as other nightshade. It's not advised to use this method if allergic to any nightshade plants (Family: Solanaceae). Aphids can sometimes attract ants to the infested area because of the honeydew they produce. An ant colony will protect aphids so they can farm their honeydew. Placing ant traps near infested plants will help to prevent any secondary infestations. Aphids possess an array of natural enemies (ladybirds, wasps and lacewings, to name a few!). These can be attracted into the garden by planting a selection of indigenous plants, incorporating an insect hotel, or by letting some the garden grow wild. Unfortunately, these insects don't seem to be controlled by British ladybird and other insects.

Chemical treatment

Chemical treatments should be avoided and aphids tolerated wherever possible. Organic pesticides should be applied gradually over regular intervals can be an effective measure. Horticultural oils, insecticidal soaps and pyrethrin products are less harmful than synthetic products. More persistent insecticides include lambda-cyhalothrin, deltamethrin or cypermethrin. It's been advised to always read labels for chemical treatment thoroughly, as such chemicals are non-specific and can injure/ hurt other wildlife not intended to be targeted. Plants in flower should never be sprayed due to the threats they pose to pollinators. 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. Not sure? Ask the wonderful Candide community!

Attracts

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