Poplar Vagabond Aphid
Scientific Name: prodineta diffusa
Scientific Type: Gall Making Insects & Mites
The Poplar Vagabond Aphid (prodineta diffusa) is a species of aphid that feeds on the leaves of poplar trees. The insects are typically green or brown, and are about 1-2 millimeters in length. They have long antennae and a pair of cornicles (tubular structures) located on the hind end of their bodies. Poplar vagabond aphids feed on the sap of the tree, using their sharp mouthparts to puncture the leaves and suck up the sap. This feeding can cause the leaves to become curled, distorted, or discolored. The sap also provides a high-sugar diet that allows the aphids to reproduce at a rapid pace. In high numbers, the insects can cause significant damage to the tree and reduce its overall health. In addition to feeding on the tree, the aphids can also produce a sticky honeydew excretion that attracts ants and other insects. The ants will then protect the aphids from predators, helping the population to grow. To control Poplar vagabond aphids, it is important to use integrated pest management techniques that target both the adult insects and their eggs. Pruning and removing infested branches, as well as applying insecticides, can help to reduce the population. In addition, planting trees that are resistant to the aphids, such as cottonwood or hybrid poplars, can also be effective in reducing the damage caused by these insects.