Author Topic: Help! Wooly Apple Aphids  (Read 936 times)

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Help! Wooly Apple Aphids
« on: July 07, 2014, 09:54:52 AM »
So I have 8 apple trees of various varieties that I planted this year or are summering in the shade.  Last week, I discovered these little buggers on my Pink Lady Semi Dwarf (which I think is on resistant root stock)  that I had planted in my front yard.  They're quite aggressive and have gotten through to the heartwood in a couple of pinky sized places.  I sprayed this one tree with Neem OIl after I knocked the fuzz off.  I checked yesterday and they're back.  But I did notice a lady bug on the tree, so I didn't want to spray hoping it would eat them off and I really don't want to spray my other trees which show no signs of infestation.  I'm ok if I lose this one, but I don't want to loose the others too.  Any strategies you'd suggest?  These are young trees, no more than 3/4" trunk diameter.

Offline Skunkeye

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Re: Help! Wooly Apple Aphids
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2014, 02:03:04 PM »
I'd just spray the worst of the infested parts with a dilute soap solution.  You need to actually spray the aphids, not just the tree.  The soap removes the waxy coating on their bodies, which holds in moisture.  Without it, they dry out and die.  The soap solution won't harm beneficial insects as long as you don't spray it on them, so your ladybugs and lacewings and other aphid predators will still be there to mop up the few stragglers that the soap might miss.

Mix about 2 teaspoons of liquid dish soap to a quart of water.  (Dish soap, like Dawn, NOT detergent for the dishwasher.)  There's no need to make it any stronger than that, and if you mix it too strong, you can hurt the plants you're spraying.  Put it in a sprayer and blast the aphids with it until they're saturated.  Wait a day or two, then check and re-apply as necessary.

Neem oil tends to take a bit longer to work, because of its mechanism of action, it's not an instant insecticide.  The soap should show results within 24 hours.