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Black cherry Aphid

Myzus cerasi (Fabr.)
Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Aphididae

Adults and nymphs are shiny black soft-bodied insects; adults may or may not have wings. Nymphs are smaller, but generally similar in appearance to the adults (A).

Distribution

Throughout the fruit-growing states and provinces in eastern North America.

Damage

Attacks cherry mainly, particularly sweet cherries. Adults and nymphs establish colonies on new foliar growth in the spring, usually on the undersides of the leaves of growing shoots. They feed by sucking sap out of the leaves and tender shoots, causing a curling and stunting of the leaves (B). Heavy infestations reduce crop quantity and quality on mature trees, limit fruit set the following year, and may kill young trees. Honeydew secreted by the aphids promotes a black sooty mold on the fruit and foliage.

Management

Protect natural predators. Monitor colonies on growing shoots; application of selective insecticides may occasionally be necessary.

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