Honeydew Secretion

Asked July 8, 2013, 5:40 PM EDT

We have a tree in our back yard (not sure what type) that has been in place for a number of years. The problem is a honeydew secretion caused by aphids (so I have been told). It is a sticky substance (almost like syrup) that gets on everything under the tree and around the immediate area. It is really a nuisance. I've been told that there are other trees in our area with the same problem.

Is there some reason that this shows up all of a sudden, and what if anything can be done to take care of it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated
Thank You

Yankton County South Dakota trees and shrubs horticulture

1 Response

The reason your sticky problem seems to show up all of a sudden is due to the life cycle of the type of aphid that has chosen your tree. Aphids lay eggs which winter over and when they hatch they start to reproduce. The normal habit of aphids is for females to give live birth to a genetically identical daughter aphids through asexual reproduction (parthenogenesis). The newly born aphid can develop rapidly, typically becoming full-grown in about 10 to14 days. Adults usually can produce three to five young per day over the course of their lifetime, which may extend to about a month but is usually shortened by natural enemy activities. So this rapid growth is all of a sudden noticeable as the numbers dramatically increase. CONTROL There are ways to control aphids, natural enemies-non chemical and chemical. insectical soaps-- pyrethrins--non-residual; acephate-- bifenthrin-- beta-cyfluthrin estenvalerate-- permethrin--lambda-cyhalothrin-- all residuals; and systemic acephate-- imidacloprid-- dinotefuran which are applied as drenches. The latter will be good for next spring and perhaps totally control your aphid problem since it take about 30 days to develop. Please read and follow all directions on the labels of the product you choose. Additionally aphids can be blasted off with a forceful hose spray, but that may be difficult to do on your tree and some types of aphids are inside curled leaves. I hope this information helps you to understand what is happening and give you some options for control. You can usually find products at your local nursery. Let me know if I can help further.