Spruce Aphid Infestation On Kenai Grows With Milder Winter

first_imgSpruce aphid are small, soft-bodied insects that attack coastal spruce trees by sucking out the sap and causing them to turn yellow and brown and drop from the tree. Sitka spruce in tidewater and stressed areas, such as urban areas, are particularly susceptible to this pest. Courtesy of US Forest ServiceThey feed primarily on older needles, Current year’s needles are usually not damaged, though they may be fed on during population outbreaks. According to the Cooperative Extension, there are several active ingredients that can be used on ornamental trees for the control of aphids. Common products include, but are not limited to, acephate, bifenthrin, cyfuthrin, azadirachtin, horticultural oils, and imidacloprid. Do this at several locations. If aphids are present, treatment may be warranted. Damage from feeding that occurs in the early spring is often not observed until later in the spring or summer. If trees are not treated until the damage is obvious, the effectiveness of control measures will be minimized. Spruce aphid outbreaks do not tend to last more than a few years and several natural factors contribute to spruce aphid control. The Cooperative Extension says that the European spruce aphid has been establishing itself on the western side of the Kenai Peninsula. The Cooperative Extension suggests weekly monitoring through the spring to note any new infestations and track populations.  Aphids can be detected by holding a piece of sturdy, white paper under a branch and lightly tap the branch against the paper. The aphids are green and usually wingless; however, a winged generation may be produced to facilitate spread.center_img Spruce aphid is not usually a tree-killing pest; its damage is largely aesthetic, but aphid feeding stresses trees and lowers their defenses to other pests, like spruce bark beetles. Provide supplemental water during dry spells to maintain or improve tree vigor, and prevent unnecessary injury to the trees. Scientists say that spruce aphids are most active and damaging in late winter and early spring, with populations fluctuating according to weather conditions. Concern is growing that this year’s mild winter may allow the aphids to rapidly build up large populations. Story as aired:Audio PlayerDorene-on-spruce-aphid-infestation-grows-with-milder-winter.mp3VmDorene-on-spruce-aphid-infestation-grows-with-milder-winter.mp300:00RPd Application methods vary for different products and include sprays, soil drenches, or stem injections. Some products may discolor needles or need to be applied repeatedly.  Note that pesticides are subject to restrictions on application depending on weather and proximity to water. Be sure to follow  application directions carefully near bodies of water or and be aware of warnings about impacts on fsh, other aquatic animals, or any other non-target species. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享If the spruce bark beetles weren’t causing enough destruction on their own, local trees are now subcumbing to spruce needle aphids.last_img

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