Over-winters as the eggs on prune, plum, and other trees in the genus Prunus. With the new growth of leaves in the spring the eggs hatch and the nymphs immediately begin feeding on the tender foliage, causing a severe twisting, curling, and distortion of the leaf, which ultimately may fall from the tree. Later generations with winged females then migrate to many other kinds of plants nearby, particularly those in the Aster or Sunflower family. It is a serious pest of chrysanthemums in greenhouses.
The infested tree can suffer stress from the feeding as well as the loss of leaves due to the distortion. The twisted leaves may enclose the aphids, making foliar applications of insecticides less effective. Since they are on trees that product fruit a systemic insecticide may not be allowed. Dormant oil applications to the branches and tips of the trees serving as over-winter hosts can help reduce spring populations.