The County has been receiving calls about aphids in their poplars. Aphids attack a wide range of ornamental plants, causing leaves to curl and twist. An aphid can lay up to 800 eggs and there are three generations in a season. They are a pear-shaped insect that are usually green or black but can also be yellow, grey, brown, or colorless. They suck the sap from leaves and stems. The aphid digests a few nutrients from the sap and the rest is excreted as honeydew. Aphid honeydew also provides a food source for fungi, which appear as a black, sooty mould on leaves.

You are not going to eliminate the aphids, but they can be kept under control.

  • Keep an eye out for signs of an infestation so controls can be started early.
  • Wash aphids off the tree with a strong spray of water or use insecticidal soap (be sure to follow label directions).
  • Insecticides registered for control of aphids include malathion, diazinon, dimethoate, or permethrin.

Before applying any insecticide check for predators, the amount of aphid damage and make sure the insecticide is not toxic to the plant

Visit Natural Resources Canada at  for more information on aphids.