Effective apple aphid control methods
Among all existing garden pests, only the Colorado potato beetle can compete in “popularity” with aphids. However, unlike the striped potato eater, aphids parasitize not only on vegetables, but also on flowers and trees, sometimes causing irreparable damage to the appearance of plants, and, of course, to the crop. We will tell you more about how to timely recognize and destroy tiny, but incredibly gluttonous insects on the apple tree, as well as whether their spread in the garden can be prevented.
Aphids, or in scientific terms, Aphidoidea - this is the name of the whole superfamily (larger than the family, but smaller than the order) of insects belonging to the order arthropod. In Eurasia, representatives of this superfamily are present almost everywhere - from the western borders of Europe to Siberia, and both steppe zones and forests enter the habitat of these insects. Small parasites also cause serious damage to farmers in Australia and America.
Aphids usually do not exceed 2-3 mm in size, although there are also real "giants" reaching 5 and even 7 mm in length. All representatives of the superfamily are united by the presence of a specific proboscis, with the help of which an insect punctures a leaf or young shoot and then sucks out the juice from it. At the same time, aphids can infect plants with various bacteria, viruses or pathogenic fungi, as well as cause the appearance of necrotic formations called galls.
In total, scientists count from 3.5 to 4 thousand different species of aphids, with at least 25% of them found in Europe. Of course, not every aphid is dangerous for cultivated plants, but still, talking about the appearance of such a pest in the garden or in the garden, you need to understand that we can talk about several of its varieties.
Important! Russian scientists have estimated that at least 20 of the parasitic aphid species in the country can infect an apple tree.
In particular, in the temperate zone, you can encounter the following species of aphids:
|Peach, tobacco or greenhouse (Myzod.es persicae sulz.)||It has a white body color and rather large sizes - up to 2.4 mm. It hibernates on branches in the egg stage; in spring, the larva immediately begins to suck juice from young buds.|
|Green apple (Aphis pomi)||The body color is green, the head is yellow-green or brown. The body length of winged individuals is not more than 1.8 mm, for wingless individuals - up to 2 mm.|
|Redgall Gray Apple (Dysaphis devecta)||The body shape is almost round, length - up to 2 mm. The main color is from dark green to dark gray with a white mealy “bloom”. The head is black, with dark stripes on the abdomen.|
|Green rose (Macrosiphum rosae)||The body of the insect is green, the antennae are yellow-brown and very long. The size of insects can range from tiny, not more than 1.7 mm, to rather large 3.6 mm.|
|Cherry (Myzus cerasi)||The body on top is glossy black, the bottom brown, shaped like a pear. It has a length of 2 mm for wingless individuals and 2.4 mm for winged individuals. The antennae are green, about 1 mm long, consist of six segments.|
|Sheet (Aphis fabae)||The body length of the insect can be from 1.6 to 3 mm. The color has black with a green tint of wax. The back is covered with hairs. The antennae are light yellow.|
|Carrot (Semiaphis dauci)||One of the smallest pests of all aphids. The body length of the imago does not exceed 1.5–1.7 mm, the body color is light green, and the head is brown-yellow.|
|Willow-carrot (Cavariella aegopodii)||The insect has a greenish body up to 2 mm long. Winters in the bark of trees (mainly willows), parasitizes on different cultivated plants|
|Hawthorn (Dysaphis crataegi)||Insects hibernate on the hawthorn, but can parasitize on different garden crops. Their body length is about 1.8 mm, color is green or black.|
The main causes of the pest
Aphids - an insect is very common, aggressive and incredibly numerous, and the apple tree, along with other fruit trees, as well as garden and ornamental plants, is a natural food for this insect.
Moreover, if some species of aphids, for example, green apple, are monophagous, that is, they feed on only one type of food (in this case, leaves and buds of an apple tree), then others, for example, cherry aphids, may well parasitize on different crops.
Therefore, we can say that the main reason for the appearance of a pest in the garden is the very fact of the existence of this insect in nature. Of course, the gardener cannot influence this circumstance. And yet, parasites do not appear out of nowhere, and, knowing the main "gate" of their penetration into the area, it is already possible to try to take certain protective steps.There are three main ways aphids get onto an apple tree:
- population of the garden with migratory winged female insects;
- the emergence of a new generation of insects from eggs that overwintered in the cortex or on the kidneys;
- “Transportation” of the pest by ants, whose life cycle is very closely related to aphids.
Did you know? Ants take care of aphids as a close relative: for the winter they can even transfer imago and aphid eggs to the anthill so that they do not die from frost, and in the spring they will be planted again on tree branches. During the "grazing" aphids, ants also protect it from predatory insects, in particular, ladybugs.
Favorable conditions can contribute to a more active spread of aphids, which, in particular, include:
- good weather - a combination of heat and high humidity;
- malnutrition of the apple tree, causing an imbalance of minerals and other biologically active substances in the juice of its leaves (in particular, a lack of potassium and phosphorus, an excess of nitrogen and amino acids);
- the presence of problems with the bark of the apple tree, where ants and the pests transported by them easily climb;
- the proximity of diseased trees and some types of weeds that can become a source of infection;
- the abundance of ants in the garden;
- the lack of preventive treatments for apple trees with insecticides.
Video: aphid on apple tree
Signs of the presence of aphids on a tree
Aphid tree usually begins at the top, which is why the pest does not immediately detect its presence. However, when the parasite reaches the middle tier of the apple tree, it is not difficult to identify it.
Important! The aphid itself, in view of its tiny size, is quite difficult to see on the back of the leaves where it is usually located, however, sticky spots and ant colonies are two sure signs that the aphid struck the apple tree.
Characteristic signs of aphids are:
- the appearance on the leaves of a sticky substance similar to sugar syrup;
- problems with opening buds during the flowering period;
- deformation of the tops of young shoots (they look twisted and as if glued together);
- the appearance on the leaf plates of red spots, similar to swollen burns;
- folding the leaves into a tube (subsequently, the leaf plate blackens and dries, since all the juice is sucked out of it);
- a huge number of ants scurrying around a tree.
A concomitant spread of aphids is the soot fungus, for which the insect paddy (honeydew) creates favorable conditions.
How to protect seedlings and adult trees from aphids?
It is almost impossible to prevent the appearance of aphids on the apple tree. But, fortunately, it is not so difficult to deal with it, and many of the effective treatments for the tree are not toxic at all and can be used even at a time when the fruits are already ripening on the apple tree.
Did you know? It is estimated that in the absence of entomophages, aphids would multiply on the earth to such a scale that they could cover the entire planet with a dense layer 1 m thick!
The biological methods of fighting aphids should include:
- attraction to the site of entomophages - natural enemies of this pest from among insects and birds;
- planting of plants whose smell repels aphids;
- the use of modern biological products, which are based on fungi and bacteria that kill the parasite.
In addition to the well-known ladybugs, aphids like to eat insects such as gall midges and ground beetles. They, in turn, love to settle on umbelliferous plants (carrots, parsley, cilantro, dill, celery, etc.), so it is very useful to plant such crops near the apple tree.
As for ladybugs, today they can even be bought. Shops specializing in agricultural products sell these insects for subsequent resettlement in the garden. The cost of the "squad", consisting of one and a half thousand pre-fattened adult beetles, is approximately 3-8 US dollars plus shipping costs.
The natural enemies of aphids in the world of insects are also lacewings, wasps, beetles, some species of flies. Entomophages can be attracted to the site using various fragrant herbs and even ordinary nettles. Among the birds that hunt aphids, titmouse, robin, hemp and sparrow should be mentioned first.
But for starlings such an insect is too small a prey, therefore, it is not worth rushing to install birdhouses on the site in the hope of combating this pest. Aphids do not like the smell of some garden and meadow plants. In particular, marigolds, marigold, tansy, lavender, chamomile, hemp can scare off the insect, and tomatoes, onions and garlic from vegetables. But nasturtium, mallow, begonia, as well as viburnum and linden, on the contrary, attract winged pests to the site.
Among bioinsecticides that can destroy aphids and other insects parasitizing on the apple tree, we can name:
- "Confidor Extra."
Chemical insecticides, by contrast, give a quick and reliable effect in pest control, but they can only be used in early spring or late autumn, after harvesting. Therefore, usually this kind of remedy is used, without waiting for a tree damage, for preventive purposes.
The modern chemical industry offers a huge amount of systemic insecticides, many of which are effective in controlling aphids.
Some of these drugs are listed below, however, when choosing a suitable product for yourself, you need to remember that you should not use it constantly from year to year: on the one hand, it brings great harm to the environment, on the other, it causes resistance in the pest, after which over time, the insecticide ceases to act.
Important! Regardless of which preparation is used to treat the apple tree, it is necessary to calculate its amount based on the fact that an adult tree will need about 5 liters of working solution, and for a seedling, depending on its age, from 2 to 3 liters.
To combat pests wintering in the bark, our close ancestors used Nitrofen. This tool is able to destroy not only aphids and many other insects, but also ticks, spores of pathogenic fungi and even some weeds, so it has both insecticidal, acaricidal, fungicidal and herbicidal effects.
However, Nitrofen is a very toxic drug, so much so that for some time its use was even officially banned. "Nitrofen" should be diluted in a proportion of 300 g per 10 liters of water and spray the tree "on a green cone" (at the time of bud swelling).
As an analogue of Nitrofen, along with such well-known insecticides as copper and iron sulfate, the drug Oleuprit should be called.
Important! Complete decomposition period «Nitrofen» in soil is approximately 4 years!
Its active ingredients - copper naphthenate and petroleum oil - are capable of killing many pests even at the egg stage, which is why it is advisable to carry out treatment with Oleupoprit as well as Nitrofen at the very beginning of spring, before the buds have bloomed, and most of the pests continue to remain in the bark of a tree in a sleepy state.
The same remedy is the prevention of certain fungal infections, in particular scab, which very often affects apple orchards. “Oleuprit” is a green liquid, which must be diluted with water in a proportion of 400 g of the drug per 10 liters of water before use.
The drug is very toxic, therefore, in private households its use can not be considered a good way to protect the garden, in any case, more than one treatment during the season should definitely not be carried out.
Kinmix is a Hungarian contact-intestinal insecticide that paralyzes and kills insects, including at the larval stage, but is powerless against their eggs. The drug has a delayed effect - after processing, its insecticidal qualities persist for 3 weeks.
To combat aphids on the apple tree "Kinmix" is used twice: the first treatment is carried out after the buds open, the second treatment - after 2 weeks.
If the spring turned out to be rainy or if the aphid invasion hit the garden in the summer, the third spraying is allowed, however apples from the tree can then be removed and eaten no earlier than 3 weeks later.
The working solution is prepared at the rate of 1 ampoule (2.5 ml) of the drug per 10 liters of water, and it must be used no later than within 3 hours after preparation. It is also important to remember that during processing, special attention should be paid to the underside of the leaves, because it is there that the aphid accumulation is concentrated.
Important! Unlike «Nitrofen» and «Oleuprit», «Kinmix» almost safe for humans and other warm-blooded animals, but deadly for bees, so the treatment of neighboring beekeepers must be warned.
Inta-vir is a drug created on the basis of the same active substance as Kinmix. Once in the body of an insect, cypermethrin (this is the name of this active substance) causes paralysis of the nervous system and other organs of the pest, which subsequently leads to its death.
Inta-vir does not last as long as Kinmix (no more than 10-15 days). The drug is sold in tablets, each of which is designed for 10 liters of water. Ready solution should be used immediately.
It is possible to process Inta-vir aphid apple trees:
- before flowering;
- immediately after flowering;
- in the middle of the season, no later than 3 weeks before harvesting;
- in the fall, after the crop is harvested.
The analogues of Intavira are such preparations as Arrivo, Iskra, Alatar and Shar Pei. But the Karate insecticide is made on the basis of another active substance, namely, lambda-cygalotrin.
It is also used for prophylactic treatments of the apple tree (to prepare a solution in 10 liters of water, 5 ml of the drug should be diluted), however, “Karate” is less effective against apple aphids. The tool primarily allows you to get rid of ticks, leafworms and codling moth, but aphids using this drug are destroyed on peas, strawberries, raspberries, currants and cherries.
Important! «Karate» It is very dangerous for bees, as well as fish, and therefore its remains are strictly forbidden to be drained into water bodies. In addition, this tool is toxic for warm-blooded, in particular, herbivores, can not be grazed in areas immediately after treatment.
You can get rid of aphids on the apple using folk remedies. Most of them, like biological products, are safe for wood and ecology, and if you use them at the first sign of damage, they can be no less effective than pesticides. The only important caveat is that such drugs should be changed constantly, because the pest gets used to them much faster.
Ammonia (ammonia) is good because it contains nitrogen, which means that it is also a good fertilizer for wood. Before using ammonia, it should be remembered that it is impossible to fertilize trees with nitrogen in the autumn, since such top dressing stimulates the active growth of young shoots that freeze in winter, which is very harmful for the tree.
Video: how to get rid of aphids on an apple tree with ammonia
It is noteworthy that ammonia vapors are so aggressive that they instantly paralyze the respiratory system not only of aphids, but also of the “herding” ants, thus both the pest and its main peddler are destroyed.
To prepare the working solution in a bucket of water should mix 1 tbsp. l ammonia and 1 tbsp. liquid soap (the latter is necessary to increase the contact of the poison with a leaf plate and branches).
The fact is that the spraying method itself does not work well in the case of ammonia, so vegetables are usually simply watered with ammonia solution from a watering can.
The effect of the drug is also very short: as soon as the smell disappears, the insecticidal effect also disappears.
But with the help of ammonia, you can purposefully fight with ants.
In this case, 100 ml of liquid ammonia (a full bottle) is diluted in a bucket of warm water and, having slightly dug up the anthill, quickly pour the entire prepared mixture from a watering can with a narrow nose into it.
A few days later, the procedure is repeated. It is believed that even those individuals who survive will prefer to leave their home and build a new home for themselves. The gardener can only rely on the fact that the ants will find a suitable place outside the boundaries of his plot.
Video: fighting aphids and ants on trees
A drop of nicotine, as you know, kills a horse, and to destroy aphids on an apple tree, it is enough to prepare an infusion of tobacco or shag. As raw materials, you can use crushed cigarettes without a filter and even cigarette butts. The term of infusion of tobacco infusion is 24 hours.
Did you know? Scientists have found that when adverse conditions arise (overpopulation, lack of food, an abundance of natural enemies, etc.), aphids begin to secrete special aromatic substances that, at the genetic level, somehow lead to the birth of a generation of winged individuals that can move to new territories.
Based on a bucket of water, dry leaves or stalks of tobacco should take up to 1 kg, shag or cigarettes - 2 packs. Pour tobacco always with boiling water to speed up the process of saturation of water with the active substances of the plant. The resulting infusion should be diluted with water in a ratio of 1: 1 before use.
The soap film covering the leaf is a proven and very effective way to combat aphids in the garden and in the garden. For the preparation of a working solution, it is better to use liquid soap options, since they, in contrast to solid ones, are much easier to dissolve in water. The ratio of soap and water is about 10 ml / 10 l, the frequency of treatments is 2-3, depending on the degree of damage to the tree.
As mentioned, many plants with a strong spicy aroma repel aphids. Cooking for combating this pest of decoctions and infusions from various spices, spices, meadow herbs and other plant products is based on this feature of the insect.
Here are just a few examples of these kinds of drugs:
|Plant||Method of preparation|
|Hot chili peppers|
|Cloves, anise, cinnamon|
|Dandelion, Chamomile, Tansy or Yarrow|
|Potato or tomato tops (you can use stepchildren)|
Baking soda, like ammonia, is best used in combination with soap to combat aphids. The classic recipe for soda insecticide involves adding 10 tablespoons of soap to 10 liters. food or 5 tbsp. soda ash. The soap solution itself is prepared according to the previously described recipe.
Important! An excess of soda on the leaves and ovaries can inhibit the development of the tree and adversely affect productivity.
Subject to certain agricultural technical secrets, the likelihood of mass distribution of aphids in the area can be significantly reduced. The first and most important condition for preventing aphids on the apple tree is the fight against ants. Unfortunately, it is much more difficult to drive these insects out of the garden than many other pests, but without it saving the trees from aphids turns into a fight against windmills.
There are many special preparations against ants, but some of these products (for example, kerosene) are harmful to the soil and the natural microflora present in it, while others do not show high efficiency. However, the removal of ants from the site is not the only preventive measure for the appearance of aphids on the apple tree.
Video: fighting ants and aphids in trees
Among other, equally important events are the following:
- Regular struggle with garden shoots and tops - thin and almost vertically growing shoots that appear after pruning and do not form fruits. It is these delicate branches that are the place of mass wintering of many species of aphids.
- Planting fragrant plants attracting ladybugs under the apple tree and obligatory leaving the remains of these plants for the winter, so that the natural enemies of the aphids would have a place to wait out the cold.
- Monitoring the state of the tree bark and its timely treatment.
- Careful weeding of weeds in the area of the trunk circle.
- Competent and metered dressing of the tree in order to maintain the balance of all the nutrients it needs.
- Periodically using an infusion of fermented grass to water the apple tree (for this it is necessary to fill the bucket 1/3 with finely chopped meadow grass, add water to the edges to it and leave it in a warm place for 1.5–2 weeks).It is also noted that the resistance of an apple tree to aphid attacks can be increased by wood ash introduced under a tree.
Did you know? To extract honey dew, which is a favorite treat of ants and the main reason for their affection for aphids, cunning insects tickle their aphids with their antennae, for which they receive a portion of nectar as a reward, like a glass of sweet soda from a vending machine.
Aphids on fruit trees - a guest uninvited, but frequent. Conventional spring preventive treatments with insecticides do not always help to prevent this pest from appearing on the tree. Therefore, to effectively combat aphids, the gardener needs to learn to use any means, including such “military tricks,” such as attracting natural aphid enemies, which, fortunately, are many, as well as destroying her allies and defenders - ants.