Latin name: Myzus persicae
Reason for Concern:
1) Aphids have been identified as the vector of blueberry scorch virus, a lethal disease in blueberries.
2) If a field has scorch virus present or is in the vicinity of other infected fields, aphid management is critical to control the spread of the disease.
3) Greater aphid numbers mean increased potential for virus spread by wingless aphids that walk between plants within a row and by winged aphids that fly between rows.
4) Chronic infestations probably reduce yield and fruit quality.
5) Can cause sooty mold on fruit if populations are very high
Over 98% of aphids on blueberries are Fimbriaphis (Ericaphis) fimbriata (no common name), a small to medium sized aphid (adults 1-2 mm), with yellowish green or red nymphs, green or red wingless adults and black winged adults. The green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) are light green to dark green in color. Both species can be found on succulent, new growth beginning in early spring.
Aphids overwinter as tiny black eggs (0.5 mm long) on stems near buds and in the leaf litter. When buds start to open, aphids hatch and colonize new leaf growth, living on the undersides of leaves. Populations grow during the summer.
- When first leaves unfold, plants should be inspected on a weekly basis. 4 random sites should be chosen for every 10 acres, examining 5-10 leaves per site (focusing predominantly on newest leaves).
- Since aphids vector a critically important virus (Scorch), their control at low thresholds is essential in areas where the virus is present. However, even without the risk of scorch virus, large aphid populations can cause plant damage from feeding (Leaf distortion and discoloration).
- While looking through the field, count any natural predators found, and any parasitized aphids to gauge levels of natural control, as often times chemical controls are unnecessary.