Honeysuckle aphid became a problem in Illinois in the early 80's in the Chicago area. It has since spread throughout Illinois. It feeds on most honeysuckles. However, Lonicera tatarica
'Arnold Red" and small shrub varieties are resistant to the insects feeding and do not show damage.
The toxins released during feeding cause growth changes in the honeysuckle. Leaves fold over and protect the aphid from predators. The folded leaves also makes it more difficult to control these insects. In addition there is a shortening of branch tips and growth of dormant buds causing a witches-broom appearance. Eventually the affected tissue dies due to frost injury.
About 90% of the aphid eggs are laid on the damaged tissue. As with most other aphids, only live females are born to the adult female till cooling fall temperatures and shortening days causes sexual males and females to be born. The sexual adults mate and the female then lays the over wintering eggs.
Removing the dead witches-broom before budbreak slightly delays severe infestation the following spring. Treat at the first sign of damage Repeat in four weeks. Control the insectonly during new growth to help reduce the risk of insect becoming resistant to insecticide.