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It’s a Bad Year for Aphids

August 13, 2013

It's a Bad Year for Aphids

This is the underside of a leaf on a cup plant at Middlefork Savannah. For whatever reason the majority of the cup plants at this location, as well as a few other forest preserves that I’ve visited in the area have been infested with this sap sucking pest. This is a normal part of the environment, it’s just strange how some years there are explosions in the population of certain critters while in others you barely notice they’re there. On the flip side, it seemed as if the ladybugs and green lacewing were in the process of catching up to this unusual spike in the availability of their preferred food source. I found multiple patches of eggs laid right along side of these colonies that will almost certainly bring some balance back to the situation. It was clear that the large black ants were enjoying the sweet honeydew that the aphids excrete, they were also everywhere. Is anyone finding an abnormal amount of aphids in their garden this year? I have even been seeing infestations like this in Evanston on the flowers the city plants outside the restaurant I work at.

Larva of Chrysoperla carnea with prey

Larva of Chrysoperla carnea with prey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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