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Wet Weather Explodes Aphid Population

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A group of walkers (Mallada basalis), natural enemy of the aphid (Photo credit: SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)

A group of walkers (Mallada basalis), natural enemy of the aphid (Photo credit: SAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images)

ROME, Ga. (AP) — The wet, humid weather is behind an explosion in the aphid population in northwest Georgia.

Extension service official Keith Mickler says large numbers of small, white bugs seem to be floating around in the air.

The Rome News-Tribune reports that the insects are Asian wooly hackberry aphids. They were first detected in Georgia in 1996.

Mickler says the population is larger than in the past because of the rain and humidity this year.

The insects don’t damage plants or trees but simply float in the air waiting to find a landing area, which is normally a tree but can include any still object.

The woolly hackberry aphid is known for producing a sticky substance that falls off trees and covers cars or sidewalks underneath.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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