Aphids and natural enemies on tulip poplar
Tulip poplar leaf with aphids, a cluster of yellow lady beetle eggs, and a brown aphid mummy which houses a parasitoid wasp. Photo: SD Frank
This time of year tulip poplar leaves are covered in aphids. The great thing about aphids is that they attract a diverse array of predators and parasitoids and even fungi. Therefore, after a few weeks of dowsing your sidewalk in honeydew the aphids almost disappear. Here is a tulip poplar leaf that foreshadows the aphids demise. It has lots of aphids but also lady beetle eggs and a parasitoid mummy. On the same tree I found syrphid fly larvae, green lacewing larvae and eggs, and other predators. Thus, I don’t feel any management is usually necessary for these aphids. In fact I predict that they actually could reduce pests on nearby plants by attracting so many natural enemies.