What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Black bug orange legs
Location: Bisley, Glos
May 16, 2011 12:44 pm
100,000s of these on my chicken shed all over the place have been there for a couple of weeks wandering around not sure what they are doing or where they have come from have got a common xmas tree next to it have they hatched in it? what do I do with them the chickens don’t like them and have stopped laying
Signature: olivia

Aphids and a Mystery

Dear Olivia,
In our haste to respond to as many identification requests as possible so that we can get back to formatting the powerpoint presentation we are giving at the Theodore Payne Foundation in two weeks, we are firing off single word identifications.  We continued to read your letter as we hit send and we halted at the comment you made about the chickens having stopped laying.  Since Daniel had a bad experience with chickens last year and he plans to get three more hens in mid June, your comment seemed to warrant further exploration.  These are Aphids, and the presence of the conifer tree nearby might indicate that they are Giant Conifer Aphids in the genus
Cinara, but your photos are not that sharp and accurate species identification might not be possible.  It is intriguing to us that chickens, which are known to love insects, are shunning these Aphids.  We don’t have an answer, but perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide insight.  We wonder if the appearance of the Aphids might be related to the egg laying moratorium.  Again, we don’t know, so we pose this as a Mystery.  We are also going to feature your posting in our banner of changing features in the hope of getting you an answer.  If you supply a comment to the posting, then you will be notified if there is an additional comment in the distant future as we delete answered emails and we do not maintain contact information.

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination
Location: UK

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