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UC Pest Management Guidelines


Purplish black adults and reddish purple nymphs of the black bean aphid, Aphis fabae.

Celery

Black Bean Aphid

Scientific Name: Aphis fabae

(Reviewed 10/05, updated 6/08)

In this Guideline:


DESCRIPTION OF THE PEST

A group of related species, or possibly biotypes, form the black bean aphid complex. These individuals are superficially identical. The black bean aphid is a dark green to black, soft-bodied insect with a dark-colored head, antennae, and cornicles. The legs are black at the base and tips.

Black bean aphids form dense colonies on the undersides of celery leaflets. Winged black bean aphids develop under specific conditions such as overcrowding and plant stress, and disperse to other plants or fields.

DAMAGE

Black bean aphid populations can build up in celery to densities of several thousand per plant. This pest can inflict three types of damage on the celery crop. First, it can stunt plant growth and reduce yields through removal of significant amounts of sap. Secondly, it can transmit virus diseases such as western celery mosaic, celery calico, cucumber mosaic, and celery yellow spot. And finally, it can contaminate celery produce, particularly fresh market celery, with aphid honeydew and debris; this contamination can lower the crop value. Feeding by black bean aphids may distort plant growth and development more than feeding by other aphid species.

MANAGEMENT

Biological Control
Several parasitic wasps provide natural control of aphids in celery, most notably species in the genera Diaeretiella and Lysiphlebus. In some cases, these parasites can eliminate high densities of aphids over a few weeks period. Predators such as lady beetles, syrphid flies and lacewing also attack aphids. Populations of aphid natural enemies should be preserved by avoiding unnecessary insecticide applications and by providing acceptable habitat for these beneficials.

Cultural Control
Destroy crop residue immediately after harvest. Avoid other aphid-favored crops, such as lettuce, in adjacent, upwind fields. Intensify field monitoring for aphids when adjacent fields with aphid-favored crops are harvested.

Organically Acceptable Methods
Biological controls, cultural controls, and insecticidal soaps are acceptable for use on organically grown produce.

Monitoring and Treatment Decisions
Economic thresholds for aphids on celery have not been established. Aphid survival and development are historically greatest during periods with temperatures that are less than 80°F. However, the black bean aphid is more tolerant of hot temperatures than other species, and therefore cause problems into summer. Generally, black bean aphids can be tolerated on young celery plants. On fresh market celery, infestations are more important when the petioles (stalks) start to form and when the rows begin to close. Infestations tend to be erratic in the field, so sample several locations. Sample intermediate-age stalks because this is where the highest population levels of aphids are found. Concentrate on field edges particularly where celery fields border harvested lettuce fields.

Common name Amount/Acre R.E.I.+ P.H.I.+
(trade name)   (hours) (days)

  Calculate impact of pesticide on air quality
When choosing a pesticide, consider information relating to water quality and impact on natural enemies and bees. Not all registered pesticides are listed. Always read label of product being used.
 
AT PLANTING
A. IMIDACLOPRID
  (Admire) 2F 10–24 fl oz 12 45
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 4A
  COMMENTS: Soil application. Use at planting in fields that have a history of aphid infestations. The rate applied affects the length of control. Use higher rates where infestations occur later in crop development or where pest pressure is continuous. Do not apply more than 0.5 lb a.i./acre/year. Repeat applications of any neonicotinoid insecticide (acetamiprid-Assail or imidacloprid-Admire) can lead to resistance to all neonicotinoids. Alternate neonicotinoids with an insecticide that has a different mode of action to help delay the development of resistance.
 
AFTER PLANTING
A. ACETAMIPRID
  (Assail) 70WP 0.8–1.2 oz 12 7
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 4A
  COMMENTS: Thorough coverage is important. Do not make more than 5 applications/season. Repeat applications of any neonicotinoid insecticide (acetamiprid-Assail or imidacloprid-Admire) can lead to resistance to all neonicotinoids. Alternate neonicotinoids with an insecticide that has a different mode of action to help delay the development of resistance.
 
B. ACEPHATE
  (Orthene) 75S 0.66–1.33 lb 24 21
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 1B
  COMMENTS: Trim plants before shipment. Do not feed tops. Do not apply more than 2.66 lb/acre/season.
 
C. PYMETROZINE
  (Fulfill) 2.75 oz 12 7
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 9B
  COMMENTS: Thorough coverage is important. Do not exceed 5.5 oz/acre/season. Apply when aphids first appear before populations reach damaging levels.
 
D. OXAMYL*
  (Vydate L) 1–2 qt 48 21
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 1A
  COMMENTS: Do not apply more than 3 gal/acre/season.
 
E. ENDOSULFAN*
  (Thionex) 3EC 1–1.33 qt 24 4
  MODE OF ACTION GROUP NUMBER1: 2A
  COMMENTS: Do not make more than 1 application/season. Cannot be applied in any situation where runoff will occur. Do not exceed 1.33 qt/acre/year.
 
F. NARROW RANGE OIL
  (JMS Stylet Oil) 3 qt/100 gal water 4 0
  MODE OF ACTION: Contact including smothering and barrier effects.
  COMMENTS: This material requires frequent applications and thorough coverage.
 
G. INSECTICIDAL SOAP# 2.5 oz/gal 12 0
  MODE OF ACTION: A contact insecticide with smothering and barrier effects.
  COMMENTS: Spray to wet all infested plant surfaces. Rotate sprays or rinse foliage to avoid more than 3 consecutive sprays. This material has no residual and requires frequent applications and thorough coverage.
 
+ Restricted entry interval (R.E.I.) is the number of hours (unless otherwise noted) from treatment until the treated area can be safely entered without protective clothing. Preharvest interval (P.H.I.) is the number of days from treatment to harvest. In some cases the REI exceeds the PHI. The longer of two intervals is the minimum time that must elapse before harvest.
1 Modes of action are important in preventing the development of resistance to pesticides. Rotate chemicals with a different mode-of-action group number, and do not use products with the same mode-of-action group number more than twice per season. For example, the organophosphates have a group number of 1B; chemicals with a 1B group number should be alternated with chemicals that have a group number other than 1B. Mode of action is assigned by IRAC (Insecticide Resistance Action Committee). For additional information, see their Web site at http://www.irac-online.org/.
* Permit required from county agricultural commissioner for purchase or use.
# Acceptable for use on organically grown produce.

[Precautions]

PUBLICATION

[UC Peer Reviewed]

UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines: Celery
UC ANR Publication 3439
Insects
L. D. Godfrey, Entomology, UC Davis
J. T. Trumble, Entomology, UC Riverside
Acknowledgement for contributions to Insects:
W. E. Chaney, UC Cooperative Extension, Monterey County

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