Tips to Control Aphid Infestations In Fall
Aphids are tiny soft-body insect pests that are most active during the spring and fall months although they may be seen during the summer months, these tiny pared-shaped insects do damage by piercing the plant’s tissues with their piercing-sucking mouthparts followed by extracting the plant’s juice or fluids. Aphids love the tender shoots or new growth of plants where they congregate and do their damage, young flower buds that have not opened are also susceptible to aphid attack. Aphids can be found on the underside of leaves, developing stems, barks, twigs, and roots.
Aphids produce several generations per year, most aphids reproduce asexually or without mating. Adult females give birth to live immature aphids called nymphs. The nymphs are wingless and molts shedding their skin multiple times, before becoming adults.
The adult female deposits several nymphs on tender plant tissues, before flying to a new plant, nymphs feed on the plant sap molt and increase in size. The nymphs mature in 7-10 days and are capable of producing living young.
How to Identify Aphids
Aphids have two tailpipes (cornicles) found at the end of their abdomen. Many species are green but some are black, yellow, white, red (pink), mottled, or brown.
Signs of Aphid Damage
Signs of aphid damage include plant leaves that are curled and twisted, shoots that are stunted or dead, poor plant growth, and yellow leaves. Aphids may transmit viruses between plants. The leaves and the stems may also be covered with a sticky substance known as honeydew. This sticky substance is sugary and is used by ants for food, ants that are found in great numbers on garden plants may also be another indication of aphid infestation. Some aphid species cause galls to form on the plant’s leaves or roots, The flowers and the fruits of plants can become deformed or distorted
How to Control Aphids
- Aphids are among the easiest of garden insect pests to eliminate, a strong spray of water from a garden hose will knock aphids off garden plants killing them
- A solution of joy and water directly sprayed on them will eliminate aphids
- Insecticidal soap sprays can be used as well
- Beneficial insects can also bring control
- Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic organic spray that, on making contact will dehydrate aphids
- Companion planting is an effective way to deter aphids, for example, chives, catnip, garlic, marigold, basil, lavender, petunia, etc… will control aphids because aphids hate the scent of these plants
- Horticultural oil is another effective insecticide that will bring elimination
- The use of row covers in your garden
- Keep your garden nicely weed free, since aphids can hide in weeds and then travel by the wind from weeds to get to your garden plants
Introducing Beneficial Insects in Your Garden
Introducing beneficial insects in your garden is also a natural way to bring control, beneficials are predators to garden insect pests using them as food.
- How to attract beneficial insects to your fall garden
- How to attract beneficial insects to control garden pests
- Releasing and keeping beneficial insects in your garden
- How to control fall garden insects
Controlling Aphids on Indoor Plants
Aphids can also be found on indoor plants, using these control measures will bring elimination.
- The use of dish liquid and water, two teaspoons to a gallon of water or one tablespoon of dish liquid to a gallon of water. Thoroughly mix this solution by shaking well then add solution to a 32 0z spray bottle. Adjust the nozzle so that the spray comes out fine and misty for total coverage, spray both the top and the undersides of the plant leaves. The stems may need to be treated as well if aphids are spotted in this area.
- Chemical control would include, insecticidal soap, neem oil
Before treating plants with chemicals read and follow the manufacturer’s directions for the best results.
The final word on how to control aphids
Whether growing plants in your outdoor or indoor living space if aphids are discovered then using one or more of these methods is guaranteed to bring success. I have dealt with aphid infestation both on outdoors as well as indoors and have gotten great results by implementing several of these methods for control that give good results can do the seem for you as well.
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.