Organic controls white aphids on TC blackberries?

2ajsmamaJuly 8, 2013

I thought I saw something that looked like a pure white aphid on my blueberries last week, but the thing jumped so quickly I figured that wasn't it. Just noticed rugose leaves and white "webby" stuff (not sticky) on the canes of nearby TC blackberry, some more of these quick-moving white jumping/flying bugs I think are aphids (shaped like the light green aphids I'm used to, had on tomato plants from nursery 2 years ago, but bigger).

What can I do NOW to get these under control? Ants might be farming them.

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larry_gene

Aphids don't jump. You probably have advanced-stage nymphs of leaf hoppers. At that stage they are still pale but can jump and fly a bit. Ants are not interested in them.

They feed on the juices of new growth. They can deform and stunt new growth on a berry cane if numerous. If you don't see deformed new leaves or stunted cane tips, the damage is not significant.

Difficult to control at this stage because of their jumping and flying ability. The good new is at the next moult they will be adults and stop feeding, just fly around.

Keep a closer lookout next year; they are easy to control with sprays or squishing when at an earlier stage. Will always be found on the underside of new leaves.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 10:25PM
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2ajsmama

Will wiping the white fluffy stuff off the canes and undersides of leaves help? I thought the ants were farming them since I saw ants (not a lot) on the same canes, but then I've been seeing ants on the raspberries all spring/summer. Leafhoppers makes more sense than aphids - though I've never seen a white leafhopper either. These things move FAST!

I'm worried b/c the leaves of the TCB are deformed - just cut those off and keep an eye out for more leafhoppers? I just planted these last year, I don't want to lose them or have to pull them out, also don't want the bugs to spread to raspberries in the same area (2 25-ft raised beds and started a 3rd to move the TC to since the RB started sending up suckers this spring and I'm trying to tip root the TC).

Will a spray from hose knock them off or will they just come back? Thanks

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 6:48AM
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2ajsmama

Could they be psyllids? We are surrounded by forest, hemlock and white pine, some cedar as well as oak and maple.

A search said "site selection" was important but we can't avoid the conifers. There are 100's of acres of forest around us.

Here's a picture of the curling leaves and some of the white fluff on the new cane (which BTW are huge, thicker than any primocanes I've ever seen on a bramble!). Couldn't get a photo of the insect, but they are ghost-white, jump as quick as a flea beetle, do seem to be shaped like a leaf hopper with a backside that curls up if that makes sense. But seem relatively soft-bodied (from what I can tell) like an aphid.

This post was edited by ajsmama on Tue, Jul 9, 13 at 12:20

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 7:08AM
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drewbym(MO6B)

Definitely looks like damage from a blackberry psyllids. Usually by the time you see the damage it's too late to do much of anything.

That being said, aren't the triple crown blackberries amazing plants?!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 4:12PM
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2ajsmama

Anything I can do for next year? Cut the cane below this point, cut the leaves off?

I don't know if TC are amazing since I haven't harvested any yet - just planted last year. We have so many wild blackberries (the extra-thorny type) that I wanted to plant thornless for the kids.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 4:18PM
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drewbym(MO6B)

Google "blackberry psyllids treatment." Basically you're looking at pesticides. No reason to do anything to the plant now, although it might not hurt to remove the damaged leaves and disposing of them.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 4:25PM
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2ajsmama

I did see a few sites that mentioned Surround as a control, but not when/how to apply it. Before blossom? TC just blossomed, have some pollination and still a few flowers. Apply at popcorn stage or before that? I would think if you waited too long it would interfere with pollination?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 4:54PM
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drewbym(MO6B)

I'm really not sure. Let's see if someone else weighs in.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 5:12PM
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larry_gene

Go with the psyllid id. I've never seen them out here. It would take dozens of leafhoppers per leaf to do that kind of damage.
The white fluff is a symptom of psyllids.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 11:20PM
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2ajsmama

Thanks. Since you've never seen them in OR, guess you don't know what to do now with these leaves/canes, or what to do next year to control? Anybody?

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 7:08AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I have had those on my Triple Crowns. Hit them with insecticidal soap really good. Make sure to get all sides of all leaves. If any are curled hold in one hand and spray with the other, using fingers to open leaves. You will get one hand all soapy. Spray again in two weeks, and keep it up until they stop coming back.

Scott

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 9:20AM
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2ajsmama

Thanks. Raining bow, I'll spray tomorrow if not raining (or too sunny, but it's not supposed to be sunny). I already took the affected leaves (at least the ones I saw) off and threw them in the trash.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2013 at 2:57PM
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2ajsmama

Hmm, now I wonder...1st saw these on blueberries (near woods so that makes sense for BP), then TCB but not bad infestation, just went out to scout/pick squash bug eggs off my zukes and found more of the webby stuff and 1 bug that jumped away on a zuke. The veggies are fairly close to the berries (50ft?) and really close to woods on north side, are these still likely to be BP that got lost ;-) or something else?

Still figure the insecticidal soap should work. might as well use it on the squash (and cukes, found a striped cuke beetle on the zuke and a couple SVB moths on the cukes - I guess I have equal-opportunity pests LOL). Just wondering if maybe it is leafhoppers (or something else) after all?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 10:47AM
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