WSU Extension


Currant, Gooseberry : Currant aphids
(revision date: 2/14/2019)

Currant aphids are common on currants and are found occasionally on gooseberries. The aphids are small, soft-bodied, pear-shaped, yellowish insects. They typically feed on the underside of leaves, causing cupping and distortion of leaves. Infested leaves often show a yellow to reddish discoloration. Feeding aphids produce large amounts of honeydew, a sweet, sticky material which may attract honeydew-feeding ants or become covered with a dark growth of sooty mold. Honeydew and sooty mold can reduce the quality of fruit. Currant aphids overwinter as eggs on the bark of the host plant.
Management Options

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

Chemical Management

Apply when aphids appear. Direct sprays to undersides of leaves. Soaps may require several applications.

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
  • Bug Buster-O [Organic]
    Active ingredient: pyrethrins  |  EPA reg no: 1021-1771-54705
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
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Caption: Currant aphid damage
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli