Day of aphids as they cling to tree

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

Mild au­tumns like this year play havoc with our wildlife. Re­mem­ber the first day of win­ter does not of­fi­cially start un­til De­cem­ber 21, but I saw some black bean aphids still hug­ging to one of my branches in late Novem­ber. Gardeners will know them as black­fly and you can get winged and wing­less forms. I seem to have healthy clus­ters of them on this sal­low tree which grows in my back gar­den. As they feed, they se­crete a sticky hon­ey­dew sub­stance and this drips onto the leaves and cov­ers them with a sticky black mould. Dur­ing the sum­mer, up to five live young a day can be pro­duced and when they over pop­u­late a tree or shrub they pro­duce winged aphids which dis­perse to new feed­ing ar­eas. Dur­ing the cooler months, the aphids mate and pro­duce eggs which then over­win­ter and start the cy­cle again the fol­low­ing spring. Black bean aphids like feed­ing on broad beans and can be a real nui­sance, but they tend to over­win­ter on spin­dle trees.

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Owen Leyshon, Rom­ney Marsh Coun­try­side Project, tele­phone 01797 367934 or log on to www.rmcp.co.uk

Black bean aphids in late Novem­ber!

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