How to Identify and Get Rid of Aphids on Your Trees & Shrubs
Friends tell friends when they have aphids.
You have aphids.
How can we be so sure? Everybody has aphids.
The tiny pests are the most common insects found on trees, shrubs, and garden plants.
So, how to identify aphids? How to get rid of aphids? (If you say aphid enough times it sounds weird, right?)
Let’s fill you in.
How to Identify Aphids?
Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied insects less than a quarter-inch long, nearly invisible to the naked eye.
There are several species and they might be white, black, brown, gray, yellow, or light green.
Their pear-shaped bodies have long antennae.
If you plan on heading out to your yard to hunt aphids, good luck. Better bring a magnifying glass. It’s actually easier to spot aphid damage than the teeny aphids themselves.
So, What Does Aphid Damage Look Like?
Aphids feed by sucking the nutrient-rich liquids out of plants. As you might guess, your trees and plants don’t appreciate that. They'd rather keep their nutrient-rich liquids, thanks.
Both nymphs and adult aphids attack leaves, stems, buds, flowers, fruit, and roots, depending on the aphid species. They're not picky. But most aphids especially like tender new growth.
When a whole bunch of them gather to feast, like a bountiful bug buffet, their feeding can cause wilting and sometimes even dieback of shoots and buds.
Here’s what to look for:
- Misshapen, curling, or yellowing leaves are signs of aphid damage. Look underneath leaves—aphids love to hide there.
- If the leaves or stems are covered with a sticky substance, that’s a sign aphids may have been sipping sap. It’s called “honeydew,” a sugary liquid produced by the insects as waste. Other insects love this stuff, gathering it for food. (Yuck, we know.)
- Sometimes this honeydew turns into a fungus called sooty mold, causing branches and leaves to appear black.
How to Get Rid of Aphids?
Aphids move slowly, but they multiply quickly, so it’s important to get them under control before reproduction starts. Many generations can occur in one season.
Your best defense for aphid control is a one-two punch of systemic injections plus foliar treatments.
Systemic insecticides injected into your trees in the spring and fall treat them from within, while spray treatments three times a year zap any bugs crawling on your trees. The foliage spray has a residual effect, too, lasting for 30 days to deter any hungry invaders.
It’s a lot easier to prevent aphids than to treat them after they show up.
Are Your Trees and Plants Ready for a New Best Friend?
Ready to rescue your precious plants from villainous sap-sucking aphids?
Treatments for aphids and other damaging insects are available for our Idaho Falls and Boise customers who use our full-service lawn care program.
That gives you extra peace of mind — choose an Idaho Falls or Boise professional lawn care service that bundles your yard’s most-needed treatments into one convenient, no-fuss plan, plus know your valuable plants are protected from damaging bugs.
Fertilizing, weed control, grub control. Done. Plant protection. Double done.
We’ve got your back.
Got a few minutes? That’s all you need to get started.
Then kick back and relax in your healthy, thriving yard.