Qfigure 1uick Facts

  • Pea aphids are a common insect in pulse crops.
  • They are small (about 1/8 inch)
  • Pale to dark green in color with reddish eyes.
  • Sexual and asexual cycles
  • High fecundity: 4-6 nymphs/day
  • Short generation: 7-8 days in summer
  • Active months: May-August

figure 2Damage

Aphids feed by sucking sap from plants, which can deplete plant vidor and result in plant death. Vector of several diseases.


Scouting for aphids in pulse crops is conducted using a 15-inch sweep net.

Threshold Levels

Sample aphids when pulses are beginning to bloom through to pod set.

  • Lentil: 20 aphids/plant in top 8 inches OR 30-40 aphids per sweep
  • Peas >10 aphids on plant between 10th node and first flowering
  • Don't treat if below 7 aphids/plant 
  • If many natural enemies are present, resample 2 days later to estimate population trend

Natural Enemies

  • Ladybird beetles - aphid predators
  • Parasitic wasps - lay eggs in the aphid body and leave empty shell after parasite leaves


figure 3

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