Mealy plum aphid controls

Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)April 20, 2014

This aphid has been a scourge on my Euro plums for the last several years. Its the light green aphid that will completely cover leaf bottoms when its in full gear; it doesn't curl leaves. I expect its not so much of a problem if you are using bug poisons - pretty much any poison for the moths or curcs will be wiping them out as well. One downside of Surround is the aphids could care less about it.

Anyway I'm curious if anyone else has had problems with this guy and if so how you control it. I usually do soap and/or oil which wipes out all the ones on the leaves, but in a few weeks they are back again and I am too busy to be spraying them every other week. This year my plan is to get ahead of them, hitting all the leaf bottoms with oil at the end of April. Its usually mid-May when they first "bloom" out in the zillions. Ladybugs eventually kick in big time, but it takes a long time for that to happen. On the black cherry aphids I can easily control them by putting tanglefoot on the trunks -- they rely on ants to move them. The green ones can fly in some stages and I am not sure if keeping ants off will help much. Still, I am trying that on some of the worst-hit trees this year to see if it helps.


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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

We've same problem. Bought a repo and one tree so far gone we lost it. Poured $22 worth of a systemic around the other tree. Was assured this would fix everything. Spotted, and washed off, a new crop of aphids yesterday. Aphids seem bigger, stronger and more virile than last year.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 3:07PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Albert, I don't know much about systemics. If you are using bug killers and have a sprayer you should be able to nail them with a spray or two.

Is anyone else having aphid problems on their plums?


    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 10:33AM
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Hey Scott,

I'm not sure if this will help much... I just planted my first asian pear trees last year and treated them with tanglefoot (all of them 10 ft apart). At the beginning of last year, I did not have any aphid problems. However, I made my mesh guards too high. On two of the three trees, new limbs/leaves were able to touch the guards before I could cut the mesh out of the way. Within a week or so, these two trees were loaded with green aphids-- I'm not sure what kind. The other pear, where the only path up was over the tanglefoot, did not have a single aphid. I realize that some (all?) aphids enter a flying stage, but the tanglefoot really seemed to help. I would guess that tanglefoot would at least slow the spread of them from tree to tree if they are unable to crawl over.

I have J plums, tomcot, and some apples planted this year with tanglefoot. No aphids yet on any of them or last year's asian pears.

Unfortunately, I cannot be of any help on the control. I use 2% neem for dormant and 1% neem throughout the season. I'm sure I am going to need to add some things to my spraying later.

By the way, I am just south of you-- outside DC. I greatly appreciate all of your contributions here.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2014 at 11:26AM
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