Present in New Zealand
There are native aphids in New Zealand, but most of the 120+ species here arrived from overseas, either on imported plant material or by being blown here from across the Tasman Sea.
One of the most common migrant types is Myzus persicae, known as the Green Peach Aphid -- because they’re green, and because they use peach trees as a kind of aphid maternity ward over winter.
If you grow peaches (or any other type of prunus), you probably won’t notice a great deal of aphid damage to your own trees or fruit: but you are probably abetting a dangerous criminal which could cause critical yield losses to your neighbor’s crops.
Your best first course of action is to identify the critters, at the very least to genus level if not to species level. Your Find-A-Pest app is one of the tools that can help you narrow things down. Identification is important, because each species of aphid has its own unique ecology: different aphids may prefer different host plants, act as vectors for different viruses, and have different recommendations for control.
Green Peach Aphids have supremely adaptable reproductive habits. They can create offspring with or without male aphids present. Depending on conditions, they can produce either eggs or live young, each aphid giving birth to 30-80 new aphids in a generation, with 10-20 generations in a season. Female young can be born already pregnant, ready to give birth within 2-3 weeks. Nymphs go through several stages of development, almost all wingless, but if the population gets too high for the food source, nymphs will be born that develop wings, to go in search of other plants.
These voracious insects winter over on Prunus, reproducing and departing just as blossoms appear. Then they spend the summer and autumn dining out on local leafy vegetable crops, sucking them dry, spreading viruses and leaving behind sticky honeydew which leads to hordes of ants or sooty mould.
For a very interesting video on recent research on deterring aphids, check out this link
American Chemical Society video: Protecting gardens and crops from insects using the ‘smell of fear’
Think you’ve found a spotted lanternfly or its eggs?
Collect a sample (if you can). Call Biosecurity on 0800 80 99 66 or send a photo using the free Find-A-Pest app
Early detection will give us the best chance of eradicating them before they become established.