Aphids are small, soft bodied sap sucking, pear bodied insects. Aphids range in colour from green, black and pink colour and are about 3mm long.
Clemsen University (top left), R. Childs U of Mass Amherst (top right), Joe Kunkel (bottom)
They will appear in clusters. Ants are attracted to the sap that aphids excrete.
They’re found throughout North America, and most other countries in the world.
Aphids attack many ornamentals such as roses, cabbage, tomatoes, peas, beans and many other vegetables. They can also be found on fruit trees and shade trees.
Eggs-Jack Kelly Clark
Winged female aphids lay eggs on host plants in the fall. They then die and in the spring their eggs hatch into wingless female aphids. Females are asexual and then lay more eggs. They can lay many batches of eggs before dying. In the fall winged male aphids appear and the reproduction cycle begins again.
Damage on a leaf-R. Childs U of Mass Amherst
Aphids suck plant sap that causes foliage to distort and even drop. The sap they excrete can become sooty mould and can spread diseases. They also can cause Mosaic, a very fatal plant disease.
How to control aphids naturally:
- Introduce beneficial insects into your garden
Lady Beetles and their larvae are an excellent, non-chemical way to control aphids, Colorado potato beetles (egg stage) and other bad bugs in your garden. Green Lacewings and their larvae also have a huge appetite for aphids, mealybugs, whiteflies, thrips, spider mites and other destructive plant pests.
- Spray plants with a natural organic pesticide
Liquid Rotenone/Pyrethrin is a combination of naturally occurring pesticides used by organic gardeners to control many different bugs on vegetables, fruit, berries, flowers and trees. You mix it with water and then completely cover the plant with the spray mix.
- Make your own homemade organic spray
Mix garlic and organic vegetable oil with water and red pepper. Put the mixture in your blender and then strain. Mix 1 part soloution to 4 parts water and add a few drops of soap. Spray your plants first with a hard spray of clear water and then spray the plants with your garlic spray.
- Build exceptional organic soil base
Aphids have a tendency to stay away from organically rich soils
- Plant companion plants
Marigolds and garlic help deter aphids. Nasturtiums are usually a good plant but remember that these can also attract black aphids.