Giant Willow Aphids

Subject: Willow Borer?
Location: West Valley City, UT (Near Salt Lake City)
November 14, 2016 11:06 am
I was out in my backyard and i seen this wet spot on my patio, i looked up and seen it was coming from a branch on my umbrella willow, i looked and went to touch it and the whole branch started moving! There were it seemed like thousands of these things on this one spot of the tree. I looked more over on both trees I have, and these things are all over both trees in several locations. Can you tell me what this is? and how to fix it maybe??
Thanks so much!
Signature: Rich Kauss

Giant Willow Aphids
Giant Willow Aphids

Hi Rich,
Though it is not a boring insect, the Giant Willow Aphid is nonetheless no beneficial on your tree.  Like other Aphids, they suck the nourishing fluids from their plant hosts.  According to BugGuide, the Giant Willow Native,
Tuberolachnus salignus, is:  “Non native, introduced from Europe around 1872. Considered a minor pest” and “According to Dr. Tilly Collins, the Giant Willow Aphid is ‘genetically incompatible with sexual reproduction and reproduces parthenogenetically year-round.'”  Many Aphids are parthenogenic or give live birth at some times, but it seems the Giant Willow Aphid must give live birth without sexually commingling its genetic code at all times.

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