Plum pesty! Hyalopterus pruni, the Mealy Plum Aphid
I posted yesterday about picking a twig from my plum tree that had a leaf or two with some weird, white, fluffy gunk on it. Like I do often, I put the leaf on my desk with the intent of looking at it more closely in the morning. You’d think some sort of learning curve would happen with this delayed examination habit of mine. For instance, the mishap of having deer tick eggs hatching and crawling all over my desk https://www.facebook.com/buggingyoufromSJI/posts/2375866245969416. I barely caught that one in time. It’s important to have sticky tape on your desk for emergencies!
Well, yesterday morning, July 31, 2019), I woke to find tiny green specks moving all over my desk. They were crawling off the leaf in all directions. I set down my coffee and grabbed my iPhone macro with the macro lens attachment and took a closer look. This is what I saw. https://youtu.be/gxDqhqZqpus
As you can see, these guys are active! After doing a bit of research, I have determined them to be Hyalopterus pruni (Mealy plum aphid or reed aphid). These non-native aphids are found across the U.S. While numbers can build up to damaging levels, nature does have a built in control to manage these pests without using harmful insecticides. Those little eggs I posted about yesterday https://cynthiabrast.wordpress.com/2019/07/31/lacewing-eggs/ are going to be lacewings. Hungry lacewings with a veritable buffet awaiting them!