Viburnum: Bean aphids

categories: Ornamentals Shrubs Viburnum Viburnum Insects

revision date: 2024-06-05 02:04

Bean aphid on leaf.
Bean aphid on leaf
K. Grey


Bean aphids are soft-bodied dark green to black insects commonly found on the undersides of leaves and on new growth. They often occur in dense colonies. Heavy aphid feeding may distort shoot tips and leaves, and leaves may turn yellow, wilt, or show other signs of stress. Bean aphids typically produce large amounts of honeydew, a sweet, sticky material. It can attract honeydew-feeding ants, which protect aphid colonies from predators. Honeydew may also become covered with a dark, unsightly growth of sooty mold. Viburnum is a winter host for the aphids, which may be found on various vegetables in the summer, including beans, lettuce, and squash.

Management Options

Use Integrated Pest Management (IPM) for successful plant problem management.

Non-chemical Management

Select non-chemical management options as your first choice!

  • Viburnum davidii is not infested. The “snowball” viburnums are preferred hosts.
  • Hand-wipe or prune to control small, localized infestations when practical.
  • Wash aphids from foliage with a strong stream of water.
  • Encourage predators such as ladybird beetles, lacewings, syrphid (hover) fly larvae, and predatory wasps. Avoid use of broad-spectrum insecticides which kill these beneficials.
  • Control honeydew-feeding ants.
  • Provide proper nutrition. High levels of nitrogen in the foliage encourage aphid reproduction. Switch to a slow-release or low-nitrogen fertilizer.

Chemical Management

IMPORTANT: Visit Home and Garden Fact Sheets for more information on using pesticides.

  • Thorough coverage of the foliage including lower leaf surfaces is important when using foliar sprays.
  • Follow label instructions for products applied as a drench.
  • Apply one of the following if aphid numbers begin to increase.
  • 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.

Approved Pesticides

Listed below are examples of pesticides that are legal in Washington. Always read and follow all label directions.

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