Texas AgriLife Extension Service
I’ve been getting calls about fluffy, white flying things in backyards or falling out of trees. I finally tracked the critters down and identified them as woolly aphids. These aphids are small, and look like most other aphids but they secrete a waxy covering over their body (this is the “fluff”). Some of the woolly aphids have wings and can fly, but not all of them are winged.
These aphids really do not harm the trees, but they can be very annoying from the large amounts of honeydew that they produce. Honeydew is a sticky substance that can get on plants and lead to sooty mold growth. Honeydew also can get on vehicles or patio furniture and create a mess.
If you find that you are battling these aphids, you can try spraying the tree with high pressure water. Treatment with a pesticide generally is not needed, but if you choose a pesticide option, a professional should be hired to treat large trees.
For more information or help with identification, contact Wizzie Brown, Texas AgriLife Extension Service Program Specialist at 512.854.9600. Check out my blog at www.urban-ipm.blogspot.com