Deal with aphids organically: Method 4
Deal with aphids organically: Method 3
Deal with aphids organically: Method 2
Beech woolly aphids look an awful lot like apple woolly aphids (Eriosoma lanigerum), however, there's a key characteristic that set them apart. This is that these insects specialise feeding on birch, so you will only ever see these insects on the leaves of the latter. Apple woolly aphids tend to only associate on apples and pyracantha. Luckily, these bugs won't cause severe damage, so control is normally not required.
These insects will suck the sap from beech trees.
Aphids are a key food source for beneficial species such as ladybirds, hoverflies and lacewing larvae.
They are normally first detected by the patches of white 'fluff', which is a waxy secretion used to protect these insects from diseases and dehydration. Leaves soon become covered in it. As well as the latter, these insects will excrete copious amounts of sticky honeydew near the sites of infection. Underneath the fluff, they look just like blackfly (a black-coloured aphid). They normally form aggregations near areas of fresh new growth.
Fluffy, woolly patches may appear on the underside of beech leaves. Copious amounts of a clear sticky solution may be evident near areas of aphid activity. This is honeydew, a byproduct of aphid digestion. Honeydew can facilitate the growth of black sooty moulds.
Present in the UK and mainland Europe.
Insects such as ladybirds, hoverfly and lacewing will also help reduce the number of aphids on your plants. You can prune the affected areas and destroy the infected branches.
Spot treating your plants and trees where the aphids are present is one of the most effective ways of getting rid of them. Insecticidal soap and neem oil are effective treatments. You can also use insecticide such as acephate for fast results. However there are many alternative and less harmful methods of control. If a chemical option is sought, check with your local garden centre and please take care to follow the manufacturers' instructions. Also check with your local regulating body for guidance on active ingredients and their authorisation for use.