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Green Spruce Aphids



P_greenspruceaphis

Green Spruce Aphids

Usually appear in

Autumn to Spring


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Caused By:-     The Aphid species Elatobium abietinum

Description

Green spruce aphid Elatobium abietinum is a sap-sucking insect that infests spruce trees(Picea species). They are up to 2mm long and is dull green with dark red eyes and is most likely to be seen on spruce trees during Autumn to Spring. Eggs are produced, but in mild winter weather conditions they overwinter as adults. Winged forms are produced in spring and early summer.
They then migrate from late April to July to other Picea spp., where they spend the summer as non-feeding immature nymphs,and return in the Autumn. The most damage to Spruce occurs after mild winters.
The old foliage develops a pale mottled discolouration during the winter, and many of these needles fall off in spring which partially defoliates but rarely kills it. The new growth produced in spring is unaffected but you can usually see a clear difference between the damaged leaves. A black sooty mould may be noticeable on the stem and leaves caused by the secretion of honeydew and the growth of various moulds.
Picture by Donald Owen, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Bugwood.org.
See also these other aphids Aphids, Blackfly, Cypress, Honeysuckle, Juniper, Lettuce Root, Lupins, Mealy Cabbage, Mealy Plum, Melon Cotton, Peach, Rose, Rosy Apple, Willow Bark Aphid, Wooly.


Control

If the tree is not too large spray with insecticide, both knock down or systemic or wash plants down with soapy water or hose them off the plant if you are organic.
Winter plant oil wash plants if possible as this will get rid of overwintering eggs and adults.
If the Spruce is very large then only the lower leaves can be treated as above and biological control is probably your only action.
This is done by having large populations of their predators like birds, ladybirds, lacewings, hoverflies, spiders and parasitic wasps.



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