- Apple, pear, prunus, crab apple, pyracantha, cotoneaster, elm, hawthorn and mountain ash trees.
About Apple woolly aphid
- Adult aphids are up to 2mm long and elliptical in shape. They are pinkish-brown but their waxy coating gives them a white, woolly appearance.
- This species does not overwinter as eggs but as young, under loose bark, or in cracks in bark or surface roots.
- Young emerge in spring to re-establish the colony.
- Aphids can give birth to as many as five live young a day so rapidly produce large colonies.
- After a few generations, winged adults develop and move to new trees.
- Colonies will develop around cracks and wounds in trees, as well as new shoots.
- Feeding by apple woolly aphids will cause knobbly galls to form making the tree more susceptible to canker and other infections.
- Aphids feed on plant sap and excrete plant sugars as honeydew.
- Honeydew often covers the leaves of a plant and then becomes infested with unsightly black sooty moulds.
Products containing the following chemical ingredients are all effective on Apple woolly aphid
- Pyrethroids and Pyrethrin
Note: It is important to read manufacturer's instructions for use and the associated safety data information before applying chemical treatments.
- Check tree shoots and bark regularly for signs of woolly aphid.
- Scrub areas within easy reach with a brush and a bucket of soapy water.
- Spray infested areas with a firm jet of water to help reduce aphid numbers.
- Spray with natural fatty acids such as an insecticidal soap.
- The parasitic wasp Aphelinus mali will attack aphids above ground level.
- Aphid predators such as ladybirds, aphidoletes, hoverflies, and lacewing larvae can be encouraged by providing suitable overwintering sites and by growing flowers which attract them.
- Regularly check plants for signs of infestation and deal with them as soon as they appear.
- Encourage natural enemies like ladybirds, hoverflies and lacewings to become established in the garden by planting daisy-like flowers, yellow flowers and in particular, the poached egg plant Limnanthes douglasii.
- Avoid using broad spectrum insecticides which will kill beneficial insects as well as aphids.
- Encourage insect-eating birds such as blue tits, by hanging feeders in winter and nest boxes in spring.
- If planting new apple trees, use rootstocks which are resistant to apple woolly aphid.
- Paint pruning wounds with a tree coating composition to help prevent infestations establishing.