Aphids (Diuraphis noxia) are tiny insects that feed on the sap of wheat plants, depriving them of essential nutrients and decreasing the plant’s ability to photosynthesize. This can result in:

  • Stunted growth

  • Reduced yield

  • Worsened grain quality with smaller, less plump grains and lower protein content

  • Viral disease transmission, such as barley yellow dwarf virus

In severe cases, uncontrolled aphid populations can lead to yield losses of up to 30%.

(Image Credit: Mary Burrows, Montana State University, Bugwood.org)


How to Identify Aphids

To effectively manage aphids, it is important to be able to identify them. Luckily, unlike other pests, aphids move at a leisurely pace, making them easier to spot and identify.

Aphids are small insects, measuring around 1 to 3 millimeters in length, with soft bodies and a range of colors including green, yellow and black. They have long antennae protruding from their heads and two tube-like structures called cornicles on their hind end, which they use to release defensive substances.

Distorted leaves, such as curling or cupping, are clear indicators of aphid feeding. Aphids inject toxic saliva into the leaves as they feed, leading to deformities and curling.

Aphids also excrete a sugary substance called honeydew, which can accumulate on the leaves and stems of wheat plants, attracting ants and further damaging crops. Regularly inspecting wheat fields for sticky honeydew serves as a clue to the presence of aphids. Identifying and addressing this issue early on can prevent further damage and ensure a healthy wheat harvest.

(Image Credit: Mourad Louadfel, Bugwood.org)

Regions Affected by Aphids

Aphids can be found worldwide, but they tend to flourish in regions with mild winters and moderate temperatures during the growing season.

Areas such as the Midwest and Great Plains in the United States, as well as various wheat-growing regions in Europe, Asia and Australia, have a history of aphid infestations. These regions provide suitable climate conditions and susceptible crops, creating an ideal environment for aphids to thrive.

Timing of Aphid Infestations

Aphids can be a persistent problem throughout the entire growing season, with their population peaking in late spring and early summer. Warm and dry weather conditions during this period provide optimal conditions for their reproduction and growth.

How to Manage Aphids

Ladybugs and lacewings, which are natural predators of aphids, can help keep their populations in check. Seeing these two insects in a wheat field often indicates that the ecosystem is in balance and crops are being protected naturally.

By encouraging the presence of these natural enemies through habitat diversification strategies, such as planting flowering plants and providing shelter, farmers can enhance their population and reduce the need for chemical interventions.

As well, a delayed planting date can help reduce aphid populations, reducing the risk for barley yellow dwarf virus development.

Resistant wheat varieties exist for the Russian wheat aphid. Seed treatments with thiamethoxam or imidacloprid active ingredients can help reduce early aphid infestations, although they may not be effective through the fall season. Because the seed treatment insecticides are systemic and present in the plant tissue, they are reported to reduce the incidence of barley yellow dwarf virus by removing aphid populations.

In some cases, more aggressive chemical solutions are necessary. Remember to closely monitor aphid numbers using visual inspections, sticky traps, or suction samplers, and take action only when their population exceeds established threshold levels.

Insecticides containing active ingredients such as pyrethroids, neonicotinoids, or organophosphates have been proven effective against aphids. These insecticides either directly kill aphids or disrupt their feeding and reproductive abilities.

Apply Willowood Lambda-Cy 1EC* at a rate of 2.56-3.84 fl oz/A for control of bird cherry-oat aphids, English grain aphids, and Russian wheat aphids before insects begin to roll leaves. Once the crop has started to boot, Willowood Lambda-Cy 1EC may provide suppression only. Higher rates and increased coverage will be necessary. Lambda-Cy 1EC provides suppression of corn leaf aphids in wheat. Do not apply Willowood Lambda-Cy 1EC within 30 days of harvest.

Keep in mind that aphids have the ability to develop resistance to insecticides over time, reducing their effectiveness. To combat this issue, rotate between different chemical groups with different modes of action to prevent aphids from adapting and developing resistance.

(Image Credit: Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)


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*Willowood Lambda-Cy 1EC is a restricted use pesticide.

*RESTRICTED USE PESTICIDE Due to acute toxicity. For retail sale to and use by certified applicators only – NOT to be used by uncertified persons working under the supervision of a certified applicator.

Every product that labels APHID as a weed, pest, or disease the product can be applied against is shown below. Click any product for label and more information.
415 Superior Spray Oil440 Superior Spray Oil470 Supreme Spray OilAbamectin 0.15 Select™Acceleron® I-609 Insecticide Seed TreatmentAcceleron® IDL-810Acceleron® INT-710Acceleron® IX-409Acceleron® IX-409 Insecticide Seed TreatmentAcelepryn®Acenthrin™Acephate 90 PrillAcephate 90 Prill Select™Acephate 90 WDGAcephate 90 WSPAcephate 97 WDGAcephate 97UP®Acronyx™ 2 FlowableAcronyx™ 4 FActara®Adage™Adage™ STAdmire® ProAdvise® 2FLAdvise® FourAdvise® FourAeris® Seed-Applied Insecticide/NematicideAgMectin® 0.15 ECAgri-Flex® Miticide/InsecticideAgri-Mek® 0.15 EC Miticide/InsecticideAgro Pest™Alias® 2FAlias® 4FAllectus® SCAlliCURB™ MAXAloft® GC GAloft® GC SCAltus®Ambush® InsecticideAnarchy 30 SGAnarchy 70 WPAncora® Microbial InsecticideAnnihilate™ LVAnnihilate™ LV InsecticideAnnihilate™ SPAnnihilate™ SP InsecticideAnniston 70 WP InsecticideApta®ArborMectin™Arctic® 3.2 ECArdent™ 0.15 EC Miticide/InsecticideArena® 50 WDG Insecticide¹Arena® S.E. 50 WDGArgyle™ ODAria® InsecticideArtistArVida® 30 SGArVida™ 70 WPAsana® XLAscertain™ TRAssail® 30 SG InsecticideAssail® 30SC InsecticideAssail® 70WP InsecticideAstro® InsecticideAthena™ Insecticide/MiticideAtrevia™ 1.2% SLAtrevia™ 3.0% SLAttain® TR Total Release InsecticideAttendant® 480 FSAttendant® 600 FSAvenger™ Bold S3™Avenger™ S3™Avicta® Complete Beans 500Avid® 0.15 ECAxcess™ Insecticide Seed TreatmentAxxe®Aza-Direct®AzaGuard® Botanical Insecticide/NematicideAzatin® OAzatrol® EC InsecticideAzatrol® Hydro Botanical InsecticideAzera® InsecticideAzomar™Batallion™ 10 WSPBatallion™ 2 ECBatallion™ LFCBattery® 2.5 ECBaythroid® XLBelay® 50 WDGBelay® InsecticideBesiege® InsecticideBexar®Bexar® CABi-Dash 2EBidrin® 8 Water MiscibleBidrin® XP IIBifen 2 AG GoldBifen 25% ECBifender® FC InsecticideBifenthrin 2EC InsecticideBifenture® 10DFBifenture® ECBifenture® LFCBioCeres® ECBioCeres® WPBioCover® SSBioCover® ULBioCover™ LSBioCover™ MLTBioLink® Insect & Bird RepellantBioST™ Nematicide 100Bisect® LBolton™BotaniGard® MaxxBracket® 90 WDGBracket® 97Bracket® 97 (Soluble Insecticide)Bracket® 97 WDGBrandt® Ecotec® PlusBrandt® Lime SulfurBrigade® 2EC Insecticide/MiticideBrigade® WSB InsecticideBrigadier® InsecticideCalypso® 4 FlowableCapture® 2EC-CALCapture® LFR®Carbine® 50 WGCavalry™ IICelite® 610Centric® 40WGCerealStar™ Select STCheminova Malathion® 57%Chlorpyrifos 4E AG (Adama)Chlorpyrifos 4E-AG (Drexel)Cinnerate (Seipasa)Cinnerate® (Sym-Agro)Clariva® Elite BeansCloser® SCCobalt® AdvancedCobalt® InsecticideConsero®Consero® (Gamma-cyhalothrin)Cormoran®Counter® 15-G Lock'n Load®Counter® 15G Smartbox®Counter® 20G Lock'n Load®Counter® 20G Smartbox®Counter® 20G SmartCartridge®Couraze® 2FCouraze® 4Couraze® 4FCovert™ Termiticide/InsecticideCriterion™ 2F InsecticideCriterion™ 75 WSP InsecticideCrossoverCrossover® ProCruiser® 5FSCruiser® 5FS AlfalfaCruiser® 70 WSCruiser® Vibrance® QuattroCruiserMaxx®CruiserMaxx® AdvancedCruiserMaxx® APXCruiserMaxx® APX UncoloredCruiserMaxx® CerealsCruiserMaxx® EZCruiserMaxx® PeanutsCruiserMaxx® PlusCruiserMaxx® RiceCruiserMaxx® Vibrance®CruiserMaxx® Vibrance® PulsesCrusader 1ECCrusader 2MECygon™ LVDamoil™ Dormant & Summer Spray OilDanitol® 2.4 EC Spray Insecticide-MiticideDeadzone™Debug® ONDebug® OptimoDebug® TresDebug® TurboDecathlon™ 20 WPDeclare® InsecticideDeclare® InsecticideDefiance™ 0.86 ECDelta Gold®Des-X® Insecticidal SoapDiamond R Brand 435 OilDiazinon 50WDiazinon AG500Diazinon AG500Diazinon AG600 WBC InsecticideDibrom® 8 Emulsive (RUP)Dicromax® 8Dimate 4EDimethoate 2.67Dimethoate 2.67 ECDimethoate 4 EDimethoate 400Dimethoate 400 ECDimethoate 4ECDimethoate LV-4Discipline® 2ECDiscipline® CADistance® Insect Growth RegulatorDoubleTake™Durivo®Dursban® 50W-WSP Specialty InsecticideDyna-Shield Conquest™Dyna-Shield® Foothold® Virock™Dyna-Shield® Foothold™ ExtraDyna-Shield® Imidacloprid 5Ecotec®Ecozin® Plus 1.2% MEElevest™Elliptica™Endeavor®Endigo® ZCEndigo® ZCXEnforce™ 75WSP Turf and Ornamental InsecticideEnhance® AWEnkounter™ InsecticideEnstar® AQ Insect Growth RegulatorEnvirepel 50™Envirepel-38™EpiShield™Equity® VIPEquity™Ethos® Elite LFR® Insecticide/BiofungicideEthos® XB Insecticide/FungicideEverGreen® Crop Protection EC 60-6EverGreen® Pro 60-6Ex-icuteExirel®Exirel® Insect Control (With Cyazypyr®)Fanfare® 2ECFanfare® ECFanfare® ESFastac® CS insecticideFastac™ EC insecticideFervid™Firestone™First Choice® Gavicide® Super 90First Choice® Narrow Range 415 Spray OilFlagship® 0.22GFlagship® 25WGFrenzy AttackFrenzy VelozFulcrum®Fyfanon®Fyfanon® 57% ECFyfanon® 8 lb. EmulsionFyfanon® ULV AGFyfanon® ULV AG (67760-35)Gargoil® Insect, Mite & Disease ControlGarland®Gaucho® 600 FlowableGaucho® XT FlowableGavicide® Super 90GCS Bifenthrin 2ECGCS Bifenthrin LFCGlacial® Spray FluidGladiator® Insecticide/MiticideGolden Pest Spray Oil™Govern® 4EGrandevo®Grandevo® CGGrandevo® WDGGrizzly® TooGrizzly® Z InsecticideHatchet® InsecticideHelix XTra®Helix® Vibrance®Hero® EWHero® InsecticideHolster™ Insecticide (Caution)Holster™ Insecticide (Warning)Hub WDGHuma Gro® Proud 3®IAP 440 Spray OilIAP Summer 415 Spray OilIMAX PlusImida-Teb Garden SCImidashot DF InsecticideINOVATE™ Seed ProtectantINOVATE™ System Kit (2 Pieces)INTEGO™ SUITE SoybeansINTEGO™ SUITE SystemIntruder® 70 WSP InsecticideIntruder® Max 70WPJustice®Kaiso® 24 WGKarate® InsecticideKarate® with Zeon™ TechnologyKendo® 22.8 CSKendo™ InsecticideKilter®Kontos®Kontos®L - C InsecticideLada® 2FLada® 75WSP InsecticideLalGuard® M52 ODLambda TLambda-Cy AGLambda-Cy™ EC Insecticide-RUPLambdafos™ InsecticideLamcap® IILamcap™Lamdec™ InsecticideLancer® FCLancer™ 2ECLannate® LVLannate® LV InsecticideLannate® SPLannate® SPLanveer LV™Leaf Life® Gavicide Green® 415Leaf Life® Gavicide Green® 440Legend™ 5L STLegumeStar™ Select STLeverage® 360Lime Sulfur ULTRALime-Sulfur Solution™Livid® 90 PrillLivid® 97 PrillLorsban® 75 WGLorsban® Advanced InsecticideLorsban®-4E InsecticideLucid® Ornamental Miticide/InsecticideLumisure®M-Pede® Insecticide Miticide FungicideMachete® InsecticideMacho® 2.0 FLMacho® 4.0 FlowableMacho® 480 STMacho® 600 STMainspring® GNLMainspring™Malathion 5Malathion 57 ECMalathion 5ECMalathion 8Malathion 8 AquamulMalathion 8 FlowableMalathion 8-E InsecticideMalathion ULV® ConcentrateMalice® 2FMalice® 75 WSPMallet® 0.5GMallet® 2 F T&O InsecticideMallet® 75 WSP InsecticideMantra® 1G Greenhouse and NurseryMantra® 60 WSPMarathon® 1% GMarathon® 1% GranularMarathon® 60 WPMarathon® IIMarathon® IIMatch-Up™ InsecticideMavrik Aquaflow®Menace® 7.9% FlowableMenace® GC 7.9% FlowableMeridian® 0.33GMeridian® 25WGMerit® 2FMerit® 2F InsecticideMerit® 75 WPMerit® 75 WSPMesurol® 75-WMidac® FCMidash 2SC Ag InsecticideMidash Forte InsecticideMiller Lime Sulfur SolutionMineiro™ 2 FMinx Miticide/InsecticideMinx™ 2 Miticide/InsecticideMite-E-Oil®Molt-X®Montana® 2FMontana® 4FMovento®Movento® HLMovento® MPCMSR® Spray ConcentrateMustang® InsecticideMustang® MaxxNanoCropNarrow Range 415 Spray OilNeemix® 4.5 Insect Growth RegulatorNipsIt INSIDE® InsecticideNitro Shield®Nitro Shield® IVNofly® WP Wettable Powder MycoinsecticideNudrin® LVNudrin® SPNufarm Abamectin 0.15 EC InsecticideNufarm Abamectin SPC 0.15 EC InsecticideNufarm Chlorpyrifos SPC 4Nufarm Lambda-Cyhalothrin 1EC InsecticideNufos® 4E (RUP)Nuprid® 2SC Soil/Foliar InsecticideNuprid® 4.6F ProNuprid® 4F Max InsecticideObelisk™Omni Oil 6-EOmni Supreme SprayOmni® Brand Imidacloprid 2F Flowable InsecticideOrthene® 97Orthene® Turf, Tree & Ornamental 97 SprayOrthene® Turf,Tree & Ornamental WSPParadigm®Paradigm® VCPasada® 1.6FPerm-UP® 25DFPerm-UP® 3.2 ECPermaStar™ AG InsecticidePermethrinPermethrin 3.2 AGPermethrin 3.2 ECPermethrin 3.2 EC (70506-9-5905)Pest Out®PFR-97® 20% WDGPhoenix Firebird® ProPhoenix Hawk-I® 2LPhoenix Hawk-I® 75WSPPhoenix Merlin™Platinum®Platinum® 75 SGPoncho® 600 Seed TreatmentPoncho® VOTiVO®Poncho® Votivo® Precise Seed TreatmentPoncho® Votivo® Seed TreatmentPoncho® XC Seed TreatmentPounce® 25WPPQZ® InsecticidePrev-AmPrev-Am® UltraPrey® 1.6Pro-Mate® BifenthrinProaxis® InsecticideProaxis® InsecticideProaxis™PROKoZ® Zenith® 75 WSPProvince® IIProvince™Provoke™Punisher™PureSpray™ GreenPureSpray™ Spray Oil 10EPycana™Pyganic® Crop Protection EC 1.4 IIPyganic® Crop Protection EC 5.0 IIPyganic® SpecialtyQuasar™ 8.5 SLRancona® CrestRavage®Reaper® 0.15 ECReaper® ClearForm® (Caution)Reaper® ClearForm® (Warning)Renestra™ InsecticideResonate™ 480 STResonate™ 600 STRespect® EC insecticideRespect® insecticideReTurn™ReTurn™ XLReveal®Reveal® CAReveal® Endurx™Revere® 2.0Revize® Imida STRex Lime Sulfur SolutionRid-BugsRidgeback™Ruckus™ LFR® InsecticideS-FenvaloStarSafari® 20 SG InsecticideSalient™ TMI Seed TreatmentSativa® IMF Max Seed TreatmentSativa® IMF Sembolite™ MaxScimitar® CSScimitar® GCScorpion® 35SL InsecticideSeed Shield® BeansSeed Shield® CerealsSeed Shield® SoybeanSeeker™ Insecticide with Isoclast™ ActiveSefina® Inscalis® insecticideSeguroSeican®Seican™Senator® 600 FSSenstar™ InsecticideSequoia® CA InsecticideSequoia® InsecticideSerpent™ 1 ECSharda Imidacloprid 5SCSherpa® InsecticideSil-Matrix® LCSil-Matrix™Silencer®Silencer® VXN™SilvaShield® Forestry TabletsSirocco™Sivanto® HLSivanto™ 200 SLSivanto™ primeSkyraider®SlugbugSniper®Sniper® Helios®Sniper® LFR®Sol-Oil 97SoyStar™ Elite STSoyStar™ Premier STSoyStar™ Select STSoyStar™ Supreme STSpear®-T Liquid ConcentrateSpirato® IMTm 348 FSSpray Oil 470Stallion® BrandSTartUP™ IMIDA Seed TreatmentSteed® InsecticideStrafer® MaxStrafer™ WSPSuffOil-X®Sultrus™Superior Spray Oil N.W.Supracide® 2-ESupracide® 25-WSupreme OilSurround® CF Crop ProtectantSurround® WP Crop ProtectantSuspend® SCSuspend® SCSwagger®Tailgunner™Talstar® S Select InsecticideTame® 2.4 EC SprayTebuStar® Elite STTebuStar® IM Extra STTempest™ Dual-Action InsecticideTempo® SC UltraTempo® SC UltraTempo® Ultra WPTengard® SFRTenkoz® Acephate 97Tenkoz® Cypermethrin (Caution)Tenkoz® Cypermethrin (Warning)Tenkoz® Permethrin 3.2 ECTepera® PlusTepera® Plus HDTepera® Plus HDTersus® InsecticideTetraCURB™ ConcentrateTetraCURB™ MAXTetraCURB™ OrganicThimet® 20-G EZ Load®Thimet® 20-G Lock 'N Load®Thimet® 20-G SmartBox®Thymic®Tide Acephate 90 WDGTide Imidacloprid 2FTide Imidacloprid 4FTide Timectin™ 0.15 EC Ag Insecticide/MiticideTombstone™Tombstone™ Helios®Torac®Transform® CATransform® WGTrilogy® Fungicide/Miticide/InsecticideTriple Crown™ InsecticideTristar® 8.5SLTriTek™Tundra® EC (1381-196)Tundra® LFCTundra® SupremeUltor®Ultra-Pure® OilUP-Cyde® 2.5 ECUp-Star® GoldUp-Star® SC Lawn and NurseryUpShot™ Soybean Seed TreatmentVelifer® Bioinsecticide/MiticideVelifer™ Fungal Contact Insecticide/MiticideVelum® TotalVenerate® CGVenerate® XCVenerate™Venom® InsecticideVentigra® InsecticideVersys® Inscalis® insecticideViloprid™ FC 1.7VistaSpray™ 415 Spray OilVistaSpray™ 440 Spray OilVistaSpray™ 470 Spray OilVoliam Flexi®Voliam Xpress®Voltage Endurx®Vulcan®Vydate® C-LVVydate® LWarden® Cereals 360Warden® Cereals HRWarden® Cereals WRIIWarden® CXWarden® CX IIWarhawk®Warhawk® ClearForm®Warrior II with Zeon Technology®Whirlwind®Widow® InsecticideWil-Gro® Hort Oil 98-2Willowood Abamectin 0.15LVWillowood Bifenthrin 2ECWillowood Imidacloprid 2SCWillowood Imidacloprid 4SCWillowood Imidacloprid 4STWillowood Lambda 1ECWillowood Lambda-Cy 1ECWisdom® FlowableWisdom® TC FlowableWrangler® InsecticideWrath® InsecticideYuma® 4EZelto®Zoro® Miticide/InsecticideZylam® Liquid Systemic InsecticideZyrate®