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How to Manage Pests

UC Pest Management Guidelines


Green peach aphid colony.

Celery

Other Aphids

Scientific Names:
Green peach aphid: Myzus persicae
Hawthorn/parsley aphid: Dysaphis apiifolia
Cotton/melon aphid: Aphis gossypii

(Reviewed 10/05, updated 6/08)

In this Guideline:


DESCRIPTION OF THE PESTS

In addition to the black bean aphid and foxglove aphid, which are discussed separately, about ten other species of aphids are found on celery. Of these, green peach aphid and hawthorn/parsley aphid (also known as the rusty banded aphid) are the most common. These aphid species vary in color (from light green to black), size, and shape. All are soft-bodied insects. They form dense colonies on the undersides of celery leaflets and in some cases on the celery petioles. Winged aphids form under specific conditions of overcrowding or plant stress and disperse to other plants or fields.

Cotton/melon aphid is a small to medium-sized aphid. It is highly variable in color, ranging from lemon yellow to blackish green in different individuals, often within the same colony. The aphid is commonly lighter in color during the hotter times of the year and darker during cooler periods, but both color forms may be found throughout the year. In some years this aphid may be quite common in celery.

DAMAGE

Aphid populations can build up in celery to densities of several thousand per plant. These pests can inflict three types of damage to celery. First, they stunt plant growth and reduce yield through removal of significant amounts of sap. Next, they transmit virus diseases such as western celery mosaic, celery calico, and cucumber mosaic. Celery yellow spot may be found occasionally. And finally, they contaminate celery produce, particularly fresh market celery, with aphid honeydew and debris; this contamination can lower the crop value.

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. Predators such as lady beetles, syrphid flies and lacewing also attack aphids. Populations of aphid parasites 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 less than 80°F. 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 petioles to find the highest populations of aphids. 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. 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.
 
C. 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.
 
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 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 to help prevent the development of resistance. 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 Group numbers are 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 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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