Plant Lice

That layman’s term applies to common plant insects known as Aphids.

Closer examination of the distorted new growth (seen in these photos) on the growing tips of a Euonymus, revealed the presence of APHIDS.

The second giveaway to their presence on a tree or shrub, is the steady stream of ants, up and down the branches.

Ants actually have a symbiotic relationship with Aphids, moving them to the best feeding spots (usually the tender branch tips) in return for their share of ‘the sweets’ aka honeydew extracted from the plant by the Aphids. You might even call the ants “aphid farmers.”

If you ever parked your car under a tree infested with Aphids, you are all too familiar with the sticky drippings of that honeydew.

My first annual shearing of this shrub (in another week or two) usually removes most of the growing tips, along with the Aphids, without any sort of insecticide ever needing to be applied. An environmentally-friendly solution!

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