11 Mar 2014

Aphids infesting willows

1:24 pm on 11 March 2014

Conservation authorities in Hawke's Bay are battling to contain an infestation of large aphids that are chewing through willow trees and jeopardising riverside flood protection measures.

They say the giant willow aphid has been found on almost all of the region's rivers.

Several years ago another pest, the so-called willow sawfly, defoliated many willows used for flood protection, and it took $9 million worth of countermeasures to bring the situation under control.

The giant willow aphid was first detected in New Zealand in December, and has been reported in many regions since.