WSU Extension


Common Insects & Mites
Asian lady beetle 
Bark beetles 
Brown marmorated stink bug 
Brown soft scale 
California gallfly 
Conifer aphids 
Cottony camellia scale 
Cutworms and loopers 
Eriophyid mites 
Exotic longhorned beetles 
Fall webworm 
Lecanium scale 
Oystershell scale 
Pamphilid sawflies 
Pear slug 
Root weevils 
Sapsucker damage 
Shothole borer 
Sowbugs, pillbugs, and millipedes 
Spider mites 
Spotted wing Drosophila (SWD) 
Tent caterpillars 

print version| pdf version| email url    
Caption: Giant conifer aphids on pine
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Common Insects & Mites : Conifer aphids
(revision date: 4/30/2013)

Conifer aphids are often large black aphids that attack only coniferous trees. There are a few species that are smaller, green, and develop powdery white waxy material over their bodies. The large black ones frequently feed on growth tips (leaders) and twigs. As their numbers increase, they produce a sticky liquid secretion called honeydew. This can "rain" on cars, sidewalks, and lawn furniture causing a serious nuisance problem. Honeydew is also a problem in that it serves as a food for the black sooty mold fungus, as well as attracting honeydew-feeding insects such as ants. Conifer aphids that feed on needles often cause curling or twisting of the needles due to toxins in their saliva. Honeydew problems are also associated with these aphids.
Management Options

Non-Chemical Management
  • Hose aphids off smaller trees with a strong stream of water.
  • Encourage natural enemies of aphids.
  • Purchase and release lacewings and parasitic aphid wasps.
Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

Chemical Management

Pesticide applications are generally not recommended. If you choose to make an application, make certain that the pesticide applied is registered for the host and effective against the pest. 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.


+ Show larger images

Caption: Giant conifer aphids on pine
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli
Caption: Giant conifer aphids
Photo by: A.L. Antonelli