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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tobacco greenhouse pests - Aphids

Red & green color forms of the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae). Photo: Sterling Southern, NCSU.

I have gotten two calls and emails about aphids in tobacco greenhouses, specifically the red color form of the green peach aphid (Myzus persicae). This topic was among those I addressed in the very first Tobacco Connection Newsletter last March. Although they appear different, the red, green, and orange color forms of the green peach aphid are the same species and are managed in the same fashion. The main difference, other than color, of these different color forms is their environmental preferences and interactions with pesticides. In general, the green color form prefers cool temperatures and is more susceptible to pesticides. The red color form predominates in hot weather and has been documented to develop resistance to pesticides used in tobacco more readily.

We typically seen green color forms early in the season while red color forms dominate during the hotter summer months. Both color forms can be found year round in North Carolina, however. Virtually all conventional tobacco grown in North Carolina is treated with systemic neonicotiniods (imidacloprid and thiamethoxam) to control aphids and flea beetles in the field. For greenhouses with aphid infestations where transplant is within 5 days, these materials can be applied and will kill aphids prior to transplant. For aphid infested greenhouses where transplant is more than 5 days off, other treatments are available (see the NC Ag Chem Manual for specific recommendations or contact me and see A note on pesticide recommendations).

More information
NC State Tobacco Connection 1(1). March 22, 2010

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