Subject: Interesting bug
Geographic location of the bug: Michigan
Time: 11:03 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: Hello bugman!
Can you tell me what this bug is? We seem to have an infestation outside and I am a bit worried about our small children and pets. Can you help me? Thanks for your time in advance!
How you want your letter signed: Megan O’Dell
Your image lacks critical clarity, but we were convinced these were Giant Aphids in the subfamily Lachninae, though BugGuide does not picture any individuals with the bright orange tubercles on the individuals in your image. We then located an image of the Black Willow Aphid, Pterocomma salicis, on Influential Points where it states: “The black willow bark aphid forms dense colonies on two-year-old twigs and wands of willow (Salix spp.). It is usually attended by ants. Apterous males and oviparae occur in October-November. It is widely distributed in Europe and Asia and has been introduced into North America.” The Black Willow Aphid is also pictured on BugGuide. We believe that is a correct ID. Do you have a nearby willow tree?
Aphids feed by sucking fluids from plants, generally on the tender tips of branches, so they will not be eating the trunks of your trees.