WSU Extension

Hortsense

Sycamore
 
Disease
Sycamore anthracnose 
Insect
Aphids 



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Caption: Aphid colony
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
  
Sycamore : Aphids
(revision date: 2/14/2019)


Biology
Aphids are soft-bodied insects that typically feed on leaves and succulent stems. They may vary in color from pale green or reddish to dark or black. Aphids are usually less than 1/8" in length. Aphid feeding is often accompanied by production of honeydew, a sweet, sticky substance. Honeydew can develop a dark growth of black sooty mold and may attract ants. White cast skins shed by aphids are often found on leaves, as well.
Management Options


Non-Chemical Management
  • Hand-wipe or prune to control small, localized infestations when practical.
  • Wash aphids from foliage with a strong stream of water.
  • Encourage natural predators including ladybird beetles, lacewings, syrphid (hover) fly larvae, and predatory wasps. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides which kill these beneficial insects.
  • 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.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Thorough coverage of the foliage is important, including lower leaf surfaces. Apply one of the following if aphid build-up is noticed. 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
  • R-T-U Year-Round Spray Oil
    Active ingredient: oil/pet distillate  |  EPA reg no: 6218-78
  • 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 laurate  |  EPA reg no: 42697-60
  • This list may not include all products registered for this use.
Images

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Caption: Aphid colony
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Aphid cast skins
Photo by: R.S. Byther