Birch trees are popular additions to landscaped yards. Their characteristic peeling bark and the paper-thin, tear-dropped leaves help to make birch trees one of the most beloved trees in America. With their beauty comes susceptibility to aphids. Fortunately, there are methods of removing aphids from birch trees.
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Aphids are herbivorous, tiny insects known for their destructive nature in regards to plants, flowers and trees. Out of more than 1,300 different types of aphids, there are two species that attack birch trees: European birch aphid and the common birch aphid. Both are found in the United States.
There are certain chemicals that are designed for specific insects, including Orthene, Diazinon, dimethoate and malathion (all in liquid form). These chemicals kill aphids and can be sprayed at the first sight of aphids on the trees. All these chemicals are available for purchase and can be found online. Garden supply centers may sell these products; however, the product’s availability depends on your location and the quality of the garden supply center near you. Directions for use vary from product to product and manufacturer to manufacturer.
Aphids are not immune to predatory insects. Ladybugs are renowned aphid eaters. Releasing a couple hundred ladybugs in your garden will ensure an aphid-free birch tree. One ladybug can eat up to 1,000 aphids a day. You can order ladybugs online and have them delivered to your home. There are special tricks to consider when releasing ladybugs. Upon receipt of the insects, do not release them until nighttime or dusk. Ladybugs are guided by sunlight; if there is none, they do not travel far. Spray your yard and especially the birch tree with water. The excess water will encourage the ladybugs to remain in the yard. Also, placing the ladybugs in the freezer for no more then 15 minutes will slow them down enough to keep them from immediately fleeing. Once realizing the plethora of food (aphids), water and space, the ladybugs will stay, continuing to fend off the aphid attackers.
One spray bottle of water combined with two teaspoons of laundry or dish soap creates a powerful spray against aphids. Aphids are covered by a waxy surface; this surface locks water inside the body. The soap/water mixture washes away the waxy surface; eventually, the aphids dehydrate and die. The mixture causes no damage to your birch tree. Another mixture is to add three parts warm water, one part vegetable oil and a couple drops of soap. Combine the mixture in a spray bottle. Spray the aphids with the mixture; it will clog the respiratory system of the aphids, leading to their death.