Currant Blister Aphid
Currant Blister Aphid, Red Currant Aphid
Deal with aphids organically: Method 4
Deal with aphids organically: Method 3
Deal with aphids organically: Method 2
Currant bluster aphid is a sap-sucking insect belonging to the order that holds the true bugs. Aphids have complex life cycles where they alternate between two host plants. As suggested by their name, these insects target black, red and whitecurrants; whereas, during mid-summer, aphids will migrate to Stachys sylvatica before returning in the autumn to lay overwintering eggs. Aphids can have several overlapping generations each year so that they can become abundant very quickly. These aphids cause blistering on the currant plants foliage, which appears like red-green and yellow bulges which are unsightly. This is directly a result of aphid feeding, who inject toxic saliva into the plant as they suck the sap, causing plant cells to distort.
These bugs can cause leaves to become blistered and puckered.
Aphids are a food resource for predatory insects like ladybirds and their larvae!
Currant blister aphid adults are yellow in colour and can be found near plant blisters, underneath leaves. Nymphs appear like adults, but are much smaller and lack wings. These are gall-forming aphids. As they suck the sap from plants they inject toxic chemicals back into the plant tissue. The plant responds by producing large blistering that is red and green in appearance.
Foliage becomes blistered, becoming reddish/ yellowish and swollen underneath infected leaves. Small yellow nymphs may be present near blisters.
From encouraging wildlife to visit your garden you can attract many forms of biocontrol to keep pests at bay, free of cost! Insect hotels are an excellent way to do this. Please research insect hotels carefully, as many commercially-bought hotels can be more harmful than good. Infested plants still produce a decent crop, so chemical treatments are unnecessary.
You can give plants a plant oil winter wash to eliminate any overwintering eggs. Best time to spray your plants is when insects are nymphs as they are more susceptible to sprays. Organic pesticides sprayed across several applications can be an effective way to control aphid nymphs.
This aphid will alternate between currants and Stachys sylvatica (hedge woundwort).