What Are These Fluffy Little Bugs are Popping Up in Oelwein?
Like many of you, I've been spending a lot of time enjoying the out of doors. A dry, hot summer so far, it's been bad jogging weather, but perfect sit out of the patio and enjoy a cold beer weather. This year I've noticed a new bug. A white, almost furry-looking little critter with wings. At first, I thought it was a piece of fuzz or the white fluff from a dandelion, despite those all dying off in the late spring.
After I had a couple of them land on me, sit around for a while, then take off. I did some research and found out, they're actually a nuisance bug.
What are these fluffy white bugs?
These furry little bugs are called woolly aphids. Completely harmless to people, luckily as I had a few visit my hand, these guys are actually considered a pest. According to the Iowa State University (ISU) write-up on the woolly aphids feed on sap from certain trees. While generally not enough to damage or destroy the tree, in some cases you may notice damage to leaves, or they could even drop prematurely. They congregate and can become an unpleasant looking infestation. But again, they're harmless.
Why are we seeing so many in 2021?
One reason you may be seeing more woolly aphids in 2021 is because of how dry it's been. These guys tend to begin showing up in late summer. Because it's now mid-July, and very dry, it makes sense there's more of these lil' guys hovering around. ISU strongly suggests not using pesticides to destroy as, again, they're harmless. The best way to remove is to hope for rain, or even spray with a hose.
I witnessed one fly into our small tabletop firepit. So, they're not the brightest little guys. Keep flying around, woolly aphids. As long as you don't fly into my fire, you're welcome to hang out.
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