Large Cedar Aphid infestation

We live down in Taunton, Somerset and right now we’re being plagued by huge numbers of a large black insect. Initially I thought that perhaps it was some kind of weevil due to its shape. However that was quickly disproved when I squashed one because whereas a weevil has a hard exoskeleton, these bugs squash very easily and are very messy too! We’ve never seen them before but then again, we’ve only been here since last June.

Anyway, I hunted around the internet and eventually discovered an insect that seemed to match. It was the Giant Willow Aphid which seems to be comparatively rare in Britain, so I reported my find. Sadly for me I couldn’t add a photo because my camera is defunct and I don’t possess a mobile phone. Hopefully a replacement camera will be with me before the end of this week.

The people I reported them to, was the RHS at Wisley - and they then replied, saying that it sounded as if our insect was in fact a Large Cedar Aphid instead. That still left me in the dark so I searched again - and found your page.

Our garden is relatively small and nicely mature, and is enclosed and surrounded by wooden fences that are all at least 6’ tall. There are stands of poplars locally and a small mixed woodland area just across the road but for the life of me I don’t know of any cedar trees (or willow trees for that matter) around this area and there are certainly none in our garden. One of our neighbours has a number of apple trees that were heavily pruned a few months ago and we have one small apple tree. However, what we do have notably is a 35’ tall Douglas Fir set in one corner (by a previous owner) - and I now imagine that’s their ‘home’ around here.

If the above is of interest to you then please let me know and I’ll send you some photos as soon as I’m equipped with a working camera.
And also, if my description does fit the insect then we’d love to know why we didn’t see them last year; will they now be a recurring annual pest and all means of how to deal with them. They’re driving my wife mad since she’s no lover of small insects and also because of the mess should one (or more) get into the house. They’ve also put the area surrounding our fir tree out of bounds because of the constant rain of honey dew…

Oooops! I’ve just realised (one of the pitfalls of being a ‘newbie’) that I’m totally in the wrong category. Quite honestly, there are so many rules and such to take in as a new member that I’ve obviously missed the first rule - and that is to real all the rules first!
Please will someone take control of my post and move it to the right category for me.

CT: Edited top lines of bug report template out of post to reduce potential reader confusion


Welcome to the forum! I edited the post to be in the general category.
I would suggest making an account and observation on (or using the app) - you will likely get folks chiming in there (though you will need a pic). The forum itself isn’t for requesting identifications though, but discussion of insect outbreaks and reasons for them could be appropriate in Nature Talk.


Ahhh - many thanks for doing that and for the information you’ve provided.
I had a feeling that something wasn’t right - that this page wasn’t really for comments such as mine but I just wasn’t sure how to change things around - or where to post instead.
I do have an account (also newly set up) on - so I’ll copy and paste my comment there before too long.
Apologies for the error - one of the pitfalls of old age - you tend to overlook instructions far too easily!


Well, to be fair, you were reporting a “bug.”

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