Woolly aphids are a type of aphid commonly found on edible and ornamental apple trees, pyracantha and Cotoneaster horizontalis. The insects are hidden under white fluff that is easily mistaken for mould.
What do they do?
Woolly aphids are different to other aphids as they suck sap from woody stems, as opposed to leaves. By feeding on these stems, aphids damage the plant and open it up to infection from moulds and fungal diseases.
How to treat
- On small trees it is possible to treat a light infestation with a stiff bristled brush. Simply scrub the area in Spring and early Summer.
- Encourage natural enemies in the garden (some ladybirds, lacewings, hoverfly larvae, and certain parasitic wasps)
- Research also indicates that earwigs on fruit tress can help reduce aphid numbers, while causing no damage to the tree itself. Providing a flower pot stuffed with hay or other similar shelters can help encourage earwigs to the area.
Many insecticides can be used to counter the effects of Woolly Aphids, always make sure you read the label before applying. Plants in flower should not be sprayed due to the danger to pollinating insects, such as bees. We recommend: