Iris – Aphids

Q: I have irises that have bugs on the leaves. The bugs seem to be tiny, green-winged creatures and there are LOTS of them. Can you tell me what I should use to spray or treat them?

A: The insects on your iris are likely green peach aphids. They don’t do too much physical damage to the plants but they can carry mosaic virus, which causes light-colored rings or streaks on iris leaves. My preferred aphid control method is to wash them off with a hose. There are many beneficial insects that consume aphids so I don’t recommend synthetic insecticides. Look for the “sesame seed” bumps on the leaves that show where parasitic wasps have attacked and mummified some of the aphids.

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