WSU Extension


Caption: Aphid colony
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
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Bamboo : Aphids
(revision date: 3/22/2021)

Aphids on bamboo are yellowish to light green insects with pear-shaped bodies. They typically feed in large clusters on the underside of leaves and may produce large amounts of honeydew. The shiny, sticky honeydew can become covered with a growth of black sooty mold. Bamboo plants heavily infested with aphids may show yellowing, distorted or dead foliage and stunted shoots.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Wash aphids from plants with a strong stream of water.
  • Hand-wipe or prune to control small, localized infestations (when practical).
  • Encourage aphid predators and parasites, including ladybird beetles, lacewings, and parasitic wasps. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides which may kill these beneficial insects.
  • Control honeydew-feeding ants, which may protect aphid colonies.
  • Provide proper nutrition. High levels of nitrogen in the foliage encourage aphid reproduction. Switch to a slow-release or low-nitrogen fertilizer.
  • Inspect plants closely for presence of the pest prior to purchasing or transplanting.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

If aphids are numerous and there is no evidence of natural controls present, and listed nonchemical methods are inappropriate, apply a chemical method listed below. Direct applications to undersides of leaves. Homeowners should not make foliar applications to trees over 10 ft tall. Consult a commercial pesticide applicator for treatment of trees and shrubs over 10 ft. tall.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • All Seasons Horticultural & Dormant Spray Oil Conc [Organic]
    Active ingredient: oil/pet distillate  |  EPA reg no: 4-80
  • Hi-Yield Dormant Spray
    Active ingredient: oil/pet distillate  |  EPA reg no: 7401-428
  • Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap Conc II [Organic]
    Active ingredient: potassium salts of fatty acid  |  EPA reg no: 42697-60
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
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Caption: Aphid colony
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Aphid cast skins
Photo by: R.S. Byther