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Extension > Garden > Diagnose a problem > What insect is this? > Garden Pests > Beetles, bugs, ants, and other insects without obvious wings - Under 1/4 inch long > Potato aphid

Potato aphid
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw, CSU, Bugwood.org Potato aphid
Photo Credit: Whitney Cranshaw, CSU, Bugwood.org

Potato aphid
Macrosiphum euphorbiae
Size: Up to 1/8 inch long

Where/When: Feeds on a wide variety of herbaceous plants, most commonly on potato, tomato, and sometimes on rose earlier in the growing season. Additional hosts include eggplant, pepper, pumpkin, rhubarb, asparagus, celery, lettuce, sweet potato, iris, gladiolus, and several weeds. Aphids are active from June (possibly May) through October, with decline in populations during the hottest months of the summer.

Significance: Low to moderate numbers cause little or no damage. Heavy infestations can cause distortion of young leaves, stunt new growth, and possibly kill plants. Buds and blossoms are usually fed upon. Honeydew (aphid waste product) attracts ants and sooty mold (black fungus) may grow on it.
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