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Camellia Aphids
Last Updated: 22/11/2011
Images of Aphids
camellia aphids

Aphids, also commonly known as greenfly or blackfly (although many other colours are also found), are probably the most common insect pest of Camellias. They are usually found on the soft, new growth of young shoots in the spring and early summer, where they tend to congregate on the underside of leaves and can rapidly form large colonies. Later in the year, particularly if the weather remains mild in autumn and early winter, aphids may also be found on the developing flower buds.

Aphids feed by sucking sap from the plant veins and excrete ‘honeydew’, a clear, sticky fluid which can coat the leaves and eventually become colonized by black sooty mould. Eventually as the plant growth hardens they will move on, but not before having distorted the foliage and formed copious amounts of honeydew.
Small colonies of aphids are easily controlled by wiping off with a damp cloth as soon as they are noticed and before the numbers get out of hand. Natural predators such as ladybirds and the larvae of lacewings and hoverflies may also help keep aphid populations down. If a severe infestation does occur then spraying with a chemical insecticide may be necessary.

The very best treatment for scale insects and indeed any of the insect pests on your garden plants, is to encourage birds to your garden. Members of the Tit family in particular are voracious consumers of common garden pests



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