What are Aphids? How Do They Spread?
You shouldn’t be surprised if you happen to find Aphids in your garden. These small insects draw the nutrient-rich liquids from plants to feed. This allows them to receive nutrients from their food quicker and easier. In large numbers, they can harm plants significantly, harming flowers and fruit. Aphids grow fast and can quickly become a nuisance. Spreading between plants by crawling or flying. Often you’ll find them clustering at the growth end of plants and attaching themselves to the soft, green stems. Controlling them early is important in preventing future generations.
Aphids are common home garden pests. There are hundreds of different species of these tiny invertebrates and they come in almost as many colours. Their transparent bodies are usually green, red, black, yellow, or white. Yes, aphids are harmful insects and bad for your plants. The good news is that they tend to move really slowly and can be dealt with effectively if you’re diligent about taking care of them.
Aphid Types and the Harmful Effects of An Infestation
More than 4,000 species of aphids that have been discovered, some 250 of which are pests of crops and ornamental plants. The green peach aphid (Myzus persicae) is the most common aphid in the home garden. The adults are yellowish-green or reddish in color, with three dark lines on their back. It is often found on vegetables, fruit trees, and ornamental flowers.
When assessing the aphid damage, look for thee following signs:
- Look for leaves that are misshapen, curling, stunted or yellowing. Aphids love to hide on the under sides of leaves. Check there if you notice any of these signs.
- If leaves, stems or flowers are covered in a sticky substance, it could mean that aphids have been sipping sap. Honeydew is a type of liquid produced by aphids. It attracts other insects like ants, and these ants gather the honeydew as food. When aphids feed on trees, their honeydew can fall onto objects below, such as cars, furniture, and driveways.
- The honeydew can sometimes cause a fungal growth called sooty mold. As a result, branches and leaves appear black.
- Flowers or fruit may become deformed if they are being fed on by aphids.
- Some aphid species cause galls to form on roots or leaves.
- Aphids are associated with the spread of viruses, which can subsequently result in prey animals. Ladybugs have been shown to prey on aphids.
How to Get Rid of Aphids Around Your House & Garden
There are many ways to get rid of aphids, some gardeners have preventative methods to ensure they never have an infestation. Then there are pest control options with oil or chemical sprays. Read on and find a solution that would work best for you.
- Inspect new houseplants before bringing them into your home.If your plant has aphids, isolate the plant and treat them using one of the methods below.
- Use a low-nitrogen fertilizer to prevent the plants from getting aphids.
- Keep track of your house and garden plants, it’s important to be vigilant during the growing season. You should examine plants every week to check for winged colonizers. The arrival of these critters cannot be predicted, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Check the bud area and underside of new leaves for small clusters or colonies of aphids. Once colonies of aphids are found, the population can increase quickly if no action is taken.
- Spray dormant oil on fruit trees in the spring to help kill hibernating insects. Dormant oils are thick oils used to control pests and diseases in fruit trees. You can buy dormant oils at garden supply stores or online at a shop from one of our retailers.
- Try walking around the perimeter of your property each day to identify any pests or eggs that may be present. You can either kill them by pinching them off, or killing them in other ways.
- To control infestations in your home garden, spray the undersides of plants with strong jets of water to reduce aphid populations.
- Aphids like the color yellow, place pans of water and yellow food coloring close to observed infestations to attract and drown them. We’ve noticed this method is useful in most vegetable gardens.
- Place double sided yellow tape around the edges of any pot or raised bed you can find in order to kill or trap any aphids that may be attracted to them.
- Certain plants, such as coriander, basil, catnip, chives, and dill, may protect other plants from infestation by emitting an odor or oil that is unattractive to aphids and may repel them from the area.
- Aphid infestations may be treated with certain types of insecticides. People can use various active ingredients to control aphids in their garden.
Conclusion: Easy Ways To Prevent An Infestation With Low-Cost Solutions
Aphids are a huge problem for gardeners – if left unchecked, they can ruin plants and make it difficult to have a green thumb. It’s best to keep mature plants with high levels of health and nutrients, especially native species. To remediate an infestation, try one of our solutions listed above. And if all else fails, remove a severely infested and damaged plant from the garden and dispose of it in the trash.