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Wooly Aphids on Trees and Shrubs

Aphids come in a variety of colors and some, like wooly aphids, look pretty bizarre with their white stringy protrusions.

Wooly aphids are small pear shaped insects covered with waxy strands that make them look as though they are covered in white wool. The waxy strands help protect them from predators.

They feed on a variety of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs. Like other aphids, they suck plant juices causing the leaves to discolor, curl and drop when populations are high. These insects secrete a clear sticky substance called honeydew on the leaves and objects beneath the plant they are feeding upon.

Their feeding is usually just cosmetic and not harmful to healthy established trees and shrubs. Natural predators like lady beetles and lacewings usually keep the problem under control.

Provide proper care to reduce the overall stress and the impact of the wooly aphid feeding.

A bit more information:  A black sooty fungus forms on the honeydew secreted by these and other aphids. The fungus does not attack the plant but can block the sunlight reaching the leaves causing some leaf drop. For a fun look at aphids, click here.

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