This is one of the most common and damaging aphids found on a wide variety of ornamental and agricultural plants. They appear in early spring with the growth of new leaves, feeding on the new bugs and developing large populations into the summer months. Stems can be completely covered with aphids for some length. This species appears to be wholly parthenogenetic, and males are never found. Females give birth to living nymphs, and adults are normally without wings. During periods of overcrowding winged females will develop to migrate to other plants and initiate infestations there. Damage from their feeding is minimal, with the primary concern the copious production of honeydew and the resulting sooty mold that affects the appearance of the plants. The oleander aphid is capable of transmitting several serious plant viruses to some crops.
The aphids feed primarily on new growth, and managing ornamental plants so that their growth is not excessive will help to reduce the attraction to the aphids. A number of parasitic wasps and predatory insects feed on the aphids, and since the damage is primarily aesthetic these natural controls may provide sufficient control to prevent the need for chemical applications. On many ornamental plants a soil application of imidacloprid in late winter will provide season-long control of the aphids.