Birch aphids

Birch aphids are common on leaves of birch. According to Aphids on World Plants, there are 72 species of aphids in 18 genera feeding on Betula species. The PNW Insect Management Handbook lists the aphid, Euceraphis betulae on birch. This species is associated with Betula pendula, European silver birch.

Young aphid nymphs hatch (eclose) from overwintering eggs in late April or May. These aphids will feed and soon reach adult stages. They can reproduce without mating (parthenogenesis) so populations of aphids on the spring growth can enlarge rapidly. In the late summer and fall, winged (alates) aphids will appear. The winged adults and their nymphs populations are significantly higher on yellow leaves than on green leaves at this time.

Monitor for the eggs near buds and the aphids on new growth and leaf undersides.

For information on management of aphids, check the PNW Insect Management Handbook.

Web resources:


Blackman, R. and J Holopainen. A year in the life of a birch aphid. <accessed 24 Mar 2016>

Blackman, R.L. & Eastop, V.F. Aphids on Worlds Plants website: Betula-A detailed key of aphids listed on birch species.<accessed 24 Mar 2016>

Holopainen, Jarmo K., Gürkan Semiz, and James D. Blande. “Life-History Strategies Affect Aphid Preference for Yellowing Leaves.” Biology Letters 5.5 (2009): 603–605. PMC. Web. 24 Mar. 2016.

Holstein, E. and M. Shultz. 2011. Birch Aphid: Insects and Diseases of Alaskan Forests. USDA-Forest Service. R10-TP-87 Revised April 2011. <accessed 24 Mar 2016>

Aphids on birches (Betula)



Orginal publication 5/6/11
Lastest update <24 February 2017>

Author: R.L. Rosetta, Extension Nursery Integrated Pest Management, Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University/NWREC.

Birch aphid eggs overwintering near leaf bud

Young nymphs on expanding foliage

Winged adult (alate) birch aphid