Bugs on My Cherry Tree

Question:

I have a new weeping cherry and it looks bad. I have water dripping all the time. I discovered red/brown lady like bugs without the black dots that fly and are eating the leaves on new tree. Bug-b-gone didn't seem to make them fly away.

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Hardiness Zone: 6a

Stewart from Voorhees, NJ

Answer:

Stewart,

It sounds like you have a severe infestation of aphids. Aphids are tiny soft-bodied insects that come in a variety of colors. Some species have wings, other do not. They are sucking insects that feed on the sap of young leaves. As they feed they excrete a sticky, sugary substance called honeydew. The "water" dripping all of the time on your cherry tree is the honeydew being produced by the feeding aphids. Although aphids will usually not seriously harm healthy established trees, heavy infestations can result in leaves turning yellow and wilting from excessive sap removal. Aphids are also vectors for several harmful plant viruses. Worse than the aphids themselves are the large amounts of honeydew they secrete. Not only does this make a sticky mess on the ground beneath your trees, but honeydew is a magnet for attracting a fungus called sooty mold. The mold accumulates on leaves and branches, causing them to turn black and inhibiting photosynthesis.

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The ladybug beetles on your cherry tree are actually your friends in this situation (incidentally, not all ladybug beetles have spots), so don't try to get rid of them. The more ladybug beetles you see the better. They are aphid-eating machines! Adult ladybugs eat aphids whole-as many as 1,000 in one day. Ladybug nymphs also eat aphids when they are in their larvae stage-stabbing them with their mandibles (biting jaws) and sucking out their juices (similar to how aphids suck sap from leaves). Since your tree is young and probably not very tall, try spraying the leaves with a strong jet of water from your garden hose every few days. This will help blast aphids off the leaves. The combination of water and ladybugs should work to solve your problem. If heavy infestations continue to persist, you may want to try applying a summer oil or an insecticidal soap formulated for fruit trees.

Ellen

About The Author: Ellen Brown is our Green Living and Gardening Expert. Click here to ask Ellen a question! Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com

Answers

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June 25, 2011 Flag
1 found this helpful

Can you identify the bugs on my cherry trees? How can I get rid of them?

By Christine Z.

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Answer This QuestionWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
June 25, 20110 found this helpful

These are ladybug larvae in different stages of development. You don't want to get rid of them, they eat bugs you don't want around. Consider yourself lucky!

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
June 25, 20110 found this helpful

Please dont get rid of them, they are so beneficial like Jilson said. This is a picture of a full grown Ladybug on my shasta daisy. They got rid of all the Aphids.

ReplyWas this helpful?Helpful? Yes
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