Potato Aphid Monitoring

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Peach/potato aphid (Myzus persicae)
Aphids may cause direct damage to potato crops by direct feeding on plant sap or by virus transmission. Principally, four aphid species commonly infest potato crops. These include the peach/potato aphid (Myzus persicae), the potato aphid (Macrosiphum euphorbiae), glasshouse and potato aphid (Aulacorthum solani)  and the buckthorn/potato aphid (Aphis nasturtii).  

These species are physically capable of transmitting Potato Leaf Roll Virus (PLRV) and Potato Virus Y (PVYn).  See PVY/PLRV index tables.

Other non-colonising aphid species may settle on crops without reproducing, but may contribute to virus transmission. In Northern Ireland, the leaf curling plum aphid (Brachycaudus helichrysi) is considered to be an effective vector of PVYn.

In particular, seed potato crops require effective aphid control to minimise the risk of virus infection. Insecticides cannot prevent virus introduction to the potato crop but can reduce in-crop virus spread. For ware crops, there is limited risk to yield and quality reduction by aphid infestation or virus infection. 

Water traps, as illustrated below, are located across Northern Ireland, primarily the south east and north west of the province. Samples are collected on a weekly basis during the growing season and sent in for identification.

Aphid water trapping equipment

Aphid water trap on site



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