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Cinara strobi

White pine aphids. Photo: Lacy L. Hyche, Auburn University, Bugwood.
Scientific Name: 
Cinara strobi
Common Name: 
White Pine Aphid
Growing Degree Days (GDD's): 
7-121 GDD's (dormant); 121–246 GDD's; 1917-2271 GDD's Base 50F, March 1st Start Date (Source: Robert Childs, UMass Extension and Cornell Cooperative Extension.)
Host Plant(s) Common Name (Scientific Name): 
Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus)
Insect Description: 

White pine aphids are found in the genus Cinara, to which belongs many species of aphid that feed on conifers native to the US. Cinara spp. aphids are often larger than the average aphid, with long legs. They can be found feeding through the bark of smaller twigs or the main trunk of smaller trees. The white pine aphid has a winged life stage that is up to 0.16 inches long, with long legs. White pine aphids will move very quickly when disturbed. They are a shiny black color with a white stripe down the middle of the back and rows of white spots on the sides. They form dense clusters on smaller white pine twigs. In the fall, females (winged individuals) lay groups of 5-6 eggs in a row on the needles of their host plants. Males and egg laying females are only present in the fall generation. Eggs become shiny and black in color as they age, and overwinter. Egg hatch occurs as temperatures begin to warm in the spring, with several wingless generations occuring on eastern white pine during the growing season. They feed using piercing-sucking mouthparts to remove host plant fluids. These aphids are native to New England and other parts of the United States and eastern Canada. At least 6 generations per year have been reported from North Carolina. 

Damage to Host: 

Needles, twigs, and small branches of white pine may be impacted by the feeding of this insect. Small trees may not be able to tolerate large populations of the white pine aphid. Twig growth on smaller trees may be seriously reduced. Twigs may even be killed. In heavy populations, large amounts of honeydew are produced, on which grows black sooty mold. Small to moderate populations of this insect, especially on larger trees, can be tolerated. 


The large, black, long-legged aphids themselves may be the easiest life stage to spot, particularly on twigs and small branches of eastern white pine. Search for aphids beginning in May and June. Earlier in the spring, the overwintering, black eggs on the needles of eastern white pine are also visible, with magnification. As the season progresses, honeydew and sooty mold may coat branches and needles of the host plant. Make management decisions sooner on smaller trees/seedlings. One metric used to determine when chemical management strategies may be necessary is to make these decisions on individual plants with more than 30% of their shoots having aphid colonies present.

Cultural Management: 

If the shiny, black overwintering eggs are found before egg hatch occurs in the spring, they can be removed from the host plant and destroyed. Syringing (or spraying the insects with a strong jet of water from a hose) is also sometimes suggested for aphid management.

Natural Enemies & Biological Control: 

Consider conservation of natural enemies of white pine aphids prior to making chemical management decisions. Lace wings, lady beetles, hoverflies, and certain predaceous midges are all important predators of the white pine aphid. Braconid wasps may be important parasitoids. Choose reduced risk chemical management options, if they are deemed necessary, in order to conserve the natural enemies that help reduce white pine aphid populations.

Chemical Management: 

Abamectin (NL)

Acephate (NL)

Acetamiprid (L)

Azadirachtin (eggs) (NL)

Beauveria bassiana (NL)

Bifenthrin (NL)

Chlorantraniliprole (NL)

Chlorpyrifos (N)

Chromobacterium subtsugae (NL)

Clothianidin (NL)

Cyantraniliprole (NL)

Cyfluthrin (NL)

Cypermethrin (NL)

Dinotefuran (NL)

Emamectin benzoate (L)

Fenpropathrin (NL)

Flonicamid+cyclaniliprole (N)

Tau-fluvalinate (NL)

Gamma-cyhalothrin (L)

Horticultural oil (L)

Imidacloprid (L)

Insecticidal soap (NL)

Isaria (paecilomyces) fumosoroseus (NL)

Lambda-cyhalothrin (L)

Malathion (L)

Neem oil (NL)

Permethrin (L)

Pymetrozine (NL)

Pyrethrins+piperonyl butoxide (L)

Pyrethrin+sulfur (NL)

Pyriproxyfen (L)

Spinetoram+sulfoxaflor (N)


Active ingredients that may be applied systemically include: Abamectin (injection), acephate (injection), acetamiprid (injection), azadirachtin (eggs) (injection, soil drench), chlorantraniliprole (soil drench), clothianidin (soil drench), cyantraniliprole (soil drench, soil injection), dinotefuran (soil drench), emamectin benzoate (injection), imidacloprid (soil drench), and neem oil (soil drench).

Make insecticide applications after bloom to protect pollinators. Applications at times of the day and temperatures when pollinators are less likely to be active can also reduce the risk of impacting their populations.

Note: Beginning July 1, 2022, neonicotinoid insecticides are classified as state restricted use for use on tree and shrub insect pests in Massachusetts. For more information, visit the MA Department of Agricultural Resources Pesticide Program.

Read and follow all label instructions for safety and proper use. If this guide contradicts language on the label, follow the most up-to-date instructions on the product label. Always confirm that the site you wish to treat and the pest you wish to manage are on the label before using any pesticide. Read the full disclaimer. Active ingredients labeled "L" indicate some products containing the active ingredient are labeled for landscape uses on trees or shrubs. Active ingredients labeled "N" indicate some products containing the active ingredient are labeled for use in nurseries. Always confirm allowable uses on product labels. This active ingredient list is based on what was registered for use in Massachusetts at the time of publication. This information changes rapidly and may not be up to date. If you are viewing this information from another state, check with your local Extension Service and State Pesticide Program for local uses and regulations. Active ingredient lists were last updated: January 2024. To check current product registrations in Massachusetts, please visit: .