WSU Extension


Pea : Pea aphid
(revision date: 3/22/2021)

The pea aphid is a green to pinkish, pear-shaped, soft-bodied insect. It is usually found feeding in large colonies on the stems and undersides of leaves near the tips of new growth. Aphid feeding may cause foliage to turn yellow and wilt. Foliage may also be curled, mottled, and deformed as a result of infection with the Pea Enation Mosaic Virus transmitted by the aphids. Feeding aphids also secrete honeydew, a sweet, sticky material which may attract ants or become covered with sooty mold. Honeydew-feeding ants may protect aphid colonies from predators.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Plant enation-resistant peas. Among these are 'Almoto', 'Aspen', 'Aurora', 'Citation', 'Corvallis', 'Freezer 50', 'Green Sugar', 'Knight', 'Mohawk', 'Oregon Sugar Pod', 'Perfected Freezer 60', and 'Prospector'.
  • Plant peas early (before March 31, approximately) to avoid infestation with aphids.
  • Wash aphids from plants with a strong stream of water.
  • Encourage natural enemies including ladybird beetles, lacewings, syrphid (hover) fly larvae, and parasitic wasps. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides which kill beneficial insects.
  • Control honeydew-feeding ants.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Thorough coverage of the foliage is important, including lower leaf surfaces. Apply in early morning or during the evening when bees are not present. Read the product label for timing between last application and harvest. Insecticidal soaps may require more than one application.

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.
  • Safer Brand BioNEEM Multi-Purpose Insecticide & Repellent Conc [Organic]
    Active ingredient: azadirachtin  |  EPA reg no: 70051-6-42697
  • Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap Conc II [Organic]
    Active ingredient: potassium salts of fatty acid  |  EPA reg no: 42697-60
  • Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap with Seaweed Extract II [Organic]
    Active ingredient: potassium salts of fatty acid  |  EPA reg no: 42697-59
  • Surround At Home Crop Protectant
    Active ingredient: kaolin clay  |  EPA reg no: 61842-18-56872
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
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Caption: Pea aphid
Photo by: Unknown
Caption: Aphid cast skins
Photo by: R.S. Byther