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Mealy Plum Aphids



P_mealyplmaph

Mealy Plum Aphids

Usually appear in

Spring to Autumn.


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Caused By:-     The Aphid Species Hyalopterus pruni

Description

Mealy plum aphid Hyalopterus pruni is just one of over 500 different species of aphids some of which are specific to one type of plants. Mealy plum aphid eggs overwinter on Prunus species, mainly plums, but also peaches, apricots and almonds. The eggs hatch in April, usually by the white bud stage on plum, where colonies can increase rapidly.
The winged forms of this species develop later than those of the other aphid pests, and migrate to waterside grasses and reeds from the beginning of June.
The population on plum continues to increase through July, with the peak of migration occurring between early July and early August. The return migration to Prunus species begins in September, and is usually quite small. Some aphids of this species are known to remain on plum, the winter host, all the year round.
This aphid is only a pest on its Prunus winter hosts, in particular plums. When it occurs in large numbers on young leaves it causes significant feeding damage, but apparently does not cause leaf curling.
These aphids like all other aphids suck the sap from the plant and weaken it. It combines this damage with excreting honeydew onto lower leaves, which become dark with sooty moulds growing in the resulting sticky film. These fungi reduce the plant's ability to photosynthesise.
Sometimes ants farm the aphids to produce the sugary excretions by protecting and moving them to other parts of the plant. The usual symptom of their presence is distorted, weak growth of leaves and shoots.
Aphids are usually found on the youngest leaves and shoots. Aphids give birth to live young and therefore infestations are quickly spread to other parts of the plant.
Aphids also carry viruses after the winged adults, which are produced in the autumn and or when the colony gets large, have sucked on a virus infected plant.
This strain of aphid are pale green or whitish green with three dark green longitudinal stripes on their backs. Their bodies are covered with a white mealy wax. The winged form has a dark thorax and transverse bands on the abdomen.
Picture from Wikimedia Commons.
See also Mealy Cabbage Aphids, Mealy Bugs, Phormium Mealy Bugs, Root Mealybugs, Wooly Aphids. See also these other aphids Aphids, Blackfly, Cypress, Green Spruce, Honeysuckle, Juniper, Lettuce Root, Lupins, Melon Cotton, Peach, Rosy Apple, Willow Bark Aphid, Rose.


Control

Products containing the following chemical:- Bifenthrin, Imidacloprid, Pyrethroids and Pyrethrin ingredients are all effective on Mealy Plum aphid, but remember that these broad spectrum insecticides which will kill beneficial insects as well as aphids.
The introduction of some types of flowering daisy-like flowers, yellow flowers and in particular, the poached egg plant Limnanthes douglasii will attract natural aphid predators such as ladybirds, hoverflies, lacewings and certain wasps which will happily devour these pests throughout the year.
Physically blasting the aphids from the leaves with a jet of water may be a good way, and there are numerous organic pest control sprays available, the majority of which contain natural fatty acids which block the aphids breathing holes, causing death by suffocation. Unfortunately, these liquids can also knock out the beneficial insects you have worked hard to attract, so consider your options before reaching for the spray gun.
If aphids are a chronic problem treatment in early dormancy in the autumn is a very effective way to manage this pests.



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