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Pear-bedstraw aphid can cause leaf discolouration and distortion on pear trees in spring.
Pear-bedstraw aphid (Dysaphis pyri) on pear
Pear-bedstraw aphid is a small sap-sucking insect that feeds on pear foliage during spring and early summer. Heavy infestations can check plant growth and can cover the foliage in honeydew.
Dense colonies of small (<2.5mm) pinkish grey aphids develop on the underside of the foliage in spring and early summer. Affected leaves at the shoot tips become curled and yellowish. Heavily infested shoots show stunted growth with distorted leaves that start to turn brown during the summer.
The leaves can also become sticky with honeydew, on which black sooty moulds may develop. During summer infestations on pear die out and the aphids migrate to bedstraws (Gallium species).
Pesticides for home gardeners (Adobe Acrobat pdf document outlining pesticides available to gardeners)
Pear-bedstraw aphid overwinters on pear trees as eggs that are laid in autumn in bark crevices and around the buds on the shoots. These eggs hatch in spring as the leaves begin to emerge from the buds. While sucking up sap, the aphids secrete chemicals into the foliage and fruitlets, which cause the distorted growth.
Several generations of wingless aphids develop between bud burst and early summer. During June-July, winged forms of the aphid develop that migrate away to wild plants known as bedstraws, Gallium species, where they spend the rest of the summer. Infestations on pear die out during the summer but there is a return migration from bedstraws in autumn when overwintering eggs are produced.
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