Woolly Aphid

Eriosoma lanigerum

Woolly Aphid

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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
Woolly aphids are sap-sucking insects in the aphid family, Aphididae. They're very small, reaching up to 2mm in length and are a reddish, brown colour. However, you can't usually see this as they are covered in a fuzzy, white cotton-like secretion, hence the name woolly aphids. These pests favour species in the genera Malus, Cotoneaster and Pyracantha.
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Traits

Sucks the sap from plants.
Aphids are a key food source for beneficial species such as ladybirds, hoverflies and lacewing larvae.

Appearance

Adults: They grow up to 2mm in length and are reddish-brown or purple, although you can not see their colour usually as they are covered in a white, cotton-like secretion that they produce from specialised glands. When crushed, the aphids will leave red stains. Nymphs: Young aphids are generally smaller in size. Wings are undeveloped, so they can't fly. Nymphs can either be rusty yellow-brown or a reddish-brown.

Symptoms

Copious amounts of honeydew may be evident near the site aphids are present. Honeydew can encourage the growth of black mould, so this may be notable too. Damage seldom permanent. Plants may begin to wilt and die back. Ants may be found near or on the infested plants.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hemiptera

Family

Aphididae

Metamorphosis

Incomplete

Distribution

Native to North America, they're now worldwide.

Biological treatment

By introducing the chalcid wasp, Aphelinus mali you can decrease the production of the aphids wax. They then turn black in colour. Other bugs such as ladybirds, hoverfly and lacewing will also help to reduce the number of aphids on your plants. You can also easily just cut away the affected areas and destroy the infected branches.

Chemical treatment

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.

Attracts

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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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