Blueberry-Aphid

Includes

Ericaphis fimbriata (no common name)

Green peach aphid (Myzus persicae)

Pest description and crop damage Green peach aphids are medium to large aphids, 2-3 mm in length when fully grown. Wingless adults are green to pale yellow or pink. Ericaphis is a small (1-2 mm in length), spindle-shaped light-colored (yellow-green) wingless aphid; winged adults are dark colored. They secrete honeydew, and their feeding can deform leaves and devitalize plants. Both are also known to transmit blueberry scorch virus (BlSV).

Biology and life history Most species of aphid have similar life cycles. Aphid females give birth to live offspring all year without mating. When other hosts are not available, aphid live on a wide variety of weeds. Aphids are usually found in colonies on new growth, the undersides of leaves, and near flower and fruit clusters. In summer and fall, aphids may produce winged females and, later, winged males. They mate and produce eggs for overwintering, especially in colder climates. Otherwise, adult aphids overwinter on crops, weeds, or trees. There may be as few as two generations or as many as 16 generations each year, depending on the species and climate.

Scouting and thresholds Check plants frequently after new growth begins. Aphids are often concentrated in "hot spots." Be sure to look for evidence of biological control; i.e., the presence of predators, parasites (aphid mummies), and disease. Aphid flights are most common during periods of moderate temperatures (60° to 80°F).

Management-biological control

Many parasites and predators attack aphids. Monitor the proportion of aphid mummies to unparasitized adults, and the number of predators such as lady beetles. If the biocontrol agents appear to be gaining control, avoid sprays which would disrupt this system. Most products available for aphid control are highly disruptive of natural enemy populations.

Management-cultural control

Controlling weeds late in the season may help reduce overwintering populations. Aphid populations tend to be higher in plants that are fertilized liberally with nitrogen. Prune out suckers and other excess growth that might encourage colonization.

Home gardeners: Control ants, which "farm" the aphids and protect them from predators. A narrow band of "stickem" at the base of the stem should exclude ants.

Management-chemical control: HOME USE

Apply when aphids appear, and repeat if necessary. Direct spray to undersides of leaves and growing tips. Avoid making applications of insecticides to plants in bloom to avoid bee injury. Follow all label directions.

  • acetamiprid
  • azadirachtin (neem oil) - Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • bifenthrin
  • carbaryl
  • imidacloprid
  • insecticidal soap-May require several applications. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • kaolin-Applied as a spray to leaves, stems and fruit, it acts as a repellant to some insect pests. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • malathion
  • permethrin
  • pyrethrins (often as a mix with other ingredients-Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • spinosad
  • zeta-cypermethrin-Toxic to bees; do not apply when bees are foraging.

Management-chemical control: COMMERCIAL USE

  • acetamiprid (Assail) at 0.044 to 0.1 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. Do not exceed 0.5 lb ai/a per season.
  • azadirachtin (Neemix and other brands)-Consult label for rate. PHI 0 days. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • cyantraniliprole (Exirel) at 0.088 to 0.133 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days. Do not apply when bees are foraging. Note "Bee Advisory Box" and restrictions on the label.
  • diazinon (several brands) at 0.5 lb ai/a. PHI 7 days. Do not apply during bloom. One application per season allowed; as such, consider other pests that may need to be managed with diazinon. Restricted use pesticide.
  • flupyridifurone (Sivanto) at 0.09 to 0.14 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days. Toxic to adult bees in laboratory studies via oral exposure, however, not toxic to bees through contact exposure, and field studies conducted with this product have shown no effects on honeybee colony development. Two applications, 7 days apart, and no more than 0.365 lb ai/a allowed per season. Avoid rotation with neonicotinoid products, if possible.
  • imidacloprid (Admire Pro and other brands) at 0.036 to 0.05 lb ai/a for foliar applications, and 0.25 to 0.5 lb ai/a for soil applications. (Check label of other brands for correct rate). PHI 3 days (foliar) or 7 days (soil). Do not apply pre-bloom, during bloom or when bees are foraging. Note "Bee Advisory Box" and restrictions on the label.
  • insecticidal soap (M-Pede and other brands)-Consult label for rate and use directions. PHI 0 days. Some formulations are OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • malathion (several brands) at 1.25 lb ai/a. PHI 1 day. During bloom, apply only in late evening.
  • methomyl (Lannate) at 0.45 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days. Do not apply during bloom. Restricted use pesticide.
  • pyrethrin (several brands)-Consult label for rate and use directions. PHI 0 days. Direct contact is essential for effective results. PyGanic brand is OMRI-listed for organic use.
  • spirotetramat (Movento) at 0.13 to 0.16 lb ai/a. PHI 7 days. Do not apply during bloom.
  • thiamethoxam (Actara) at 0.047 to 0.062 lb ai/a. PHI 3 days. Foliar applied. Actara and Platinum have the same active ingredient; for resistance management, do not follow one with the other. Do not apply when bees are foraging. Note "Bee Advisory Box" and restrictions on the label.
  • thiamethoxam (Platinum) at 0.078 to 0.188 lb ai/a. PHI 75 days. Apply to soil and incorporate with irrigation. Platinum and Actara have the same active ingredient; for resistance management, do not follow one with the other. Wait at least 5 days after application before placing beehives in the treated field. Note "Bee Advisory Box" and restrictions on the label.