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Plantwise Technical Factsheet

black cherry aphid (Myzus cerasi)

Host plants / species affected
Artemisia (wormwoods)
Capsella bursa-pastoris (shepherd's purse)
Galium mollugo (Hedge bedstraw)
Galium odoratum (Woodruff)
Galium verum (lady's bedstraw)
Nasturtium officinale (watercress)
Prunus (stone fruit)
Prunus avium (sweet cherry)
Prunus japonica (Japanese bush cherry tree)
Prunus mume (Japanese apricot tree)
Prunus serrulata (Japanese flowering cherry)
Prunus virginiana (common chokecherrytree)
Veronica (Speedwell)
List of symptoms/signs
Fruit  -  honeydew or sooty mould
Growing point  -  external feeding
Leaves  -  abnormal forms
Leaves  -  external feeding
Leaves  -  honeydew or sooty mould
Stems  -  external feeding
Stems  -  honeydew or sooty mould

Colonies of M. cerasi form dense colonies at the growing apices of cherry trees in spring. Initial damage is due to leaf curling. Continual feeding causes deformation of shoot growth and can also lead to the formation of pseudogalls (open galls). Galling is thought to be due to the action of aphid saliva, which contains a physiologically-active substance (alpha-glucosidase) known to influence plant growth.

Prevention and control

Chemical Control

Due to the variable regulations around (de-)registration of pesticides, we are for the moment not including any specific chemical control recommendations. For further information, we recommend you visit the following resources:


Infestations of M. cerasi on cherry in spring can cause severe economic damage. Most damage is due to direct feeding, which results in leaf curling and often premature leaf fall, shoot deformation and the occurrence of pseudogalls. Leaf curling reduces photosynthetic efficiency and fruit set. Damage to fruit and leaves has been described by Mier Durante and Nieto Nafria (1974). Some indirect damage, via virus spread, can also occur. M. cerasi transmits wilt and decline disease of cherries.

M. cerasi also transmits several non-persistent viruses of non-host plants including Bean yellow mosaic virus, Celery mosaic virus, Onion yellow dwarf virus and Potato virus Y (Blackman and Eastop, 1984; Bokx and Piron, 1990). This virus spread is due to exploratory probing of non-host plants, before they are rejected, from aphids migrating from wild hosts (for example, Galium spp., Veronica spp.) in the vicinity of crops.

Related treatment support
External factsheets
Ontario CropIPM factsheets, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Canada, 2015, English language
Ontario CropIPM factsheets, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Canada, 2015, French language
RHS Gardening Advice Factsheets, Royal Horticultural Society, 2010, English language
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