Cannabis aphids

Worried about signs of a potential cannabis aphid infestation affecting commercial marijuana crops being grown in Trinity County, Agricultural Commissioner Joe Moreo warned the Trinity County Board of Supervisors in August of a possible emergency looming.

“This is just a heads up that we’ve got the cannabis aphid here, and it’s apparently already spread all over,” he said, noting the first positive samples came from the north end of the county. He is in the process of surveying further south, collecting samples and sending them to a lab entomologist in Sacramento for verification.

“I need to evaluate how wide spread it is, but it is an emergency,” he said in an unscheduled report to the board.

The cannabis aphid looks like other common aphids, but only feeds on cannabis plants, damaging the leaves and potentially destroying crops. Infestations were first detected in Colorado, then Oregon. Pesticides will kill them but leave residue that won’t pass California’s cannabis testing requirements. Lady bugs will eat them, and there are other organic measures to help control the spread.

Growers who think they may have a problem are encouraged to contact the Ag Commissioner’s office at 623-1356 for sampling and verification.

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