EDEN'S GARDEN
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Getting to the root of the problem

Root Aphids-root-aphids-control

Aphids

The world of insect pests has become a challenge attacking and destroying food crops which have mounted into the millions of dollars. These insect pests are not only a menace or limited to field crops but have found their way into our home gardens. The demand for ways to control these pest has risen, but even so, safer approaches have been sorted thereby making food crops along with shrubs, flowering plants, etc… free of contaminants.

While these garden insect pests may be a challenge some good has come out of this nightmare because these bugs are not only increasing the productions of products to control them but have also brought balance to the eco-system being consumed both by the more friendly bugs and also wildlife. The downside to this, however, is that beneficial insect is being eliminated in garden areas which are treated for these insect pests.

But what we can do is educate ourselves on the use of the more environmentally friendly products which is safe to use around humans and pets along with knowing when and how to use these chemicals to limit the eradication of beneficial insects. In this article, however, we will be looking at one such garden insect pests which can be a real nuisance to plant life. This insect pest is known as the root aphids.

The aphid family

It is believed that there are about 5000 species of aphids which are included in the Aphidoidea family now that is a big family but not to prolong the topic at hand we will jump right in. In the home garden, one family of insect pest which can be seen attacking and feeding on plant parts especially the tender or young growth are aphids. Aphids have a piercing-sucking mouthpart which is like a hypodermic needle that pierces the plant’s tissues and ingests its fluids. The removal of this fluid causes plant injuries. Signs that you may have an aphid problem besides physically seeing them include.

1. A sticky substance that is found on the leaves of your plant. This substance is known as honeydew which is the secretion or excrement of the aphids.

2. The plant growth is stunted.

3. A black substance forms on the plant leaves which is known as sooty mold. This mold not only causes your plant to take on a dirty appearance but also distracts from your plant’s beauty, sooty mold may also interfere with photosynthesis which is the process by which plants uses the sunlight to manufacture food.

4. You will also notice that your plant leaves begin to turn yellow.

5. The leaves will distort and curl up.

6. Leaves eventually turn brown followed by leaf drop.

If this issue is not dealt with immediately your once beautiful plant will become a nightmare. What I found interesting about aphids however is that they are among some of the easiest garden insect pests to treat. A strong spray of water with a garden hose attachment where the water comes out strong such as gauging the nozzle to jet spray will knock them off eliminating them.

Because some plants are tender this pressure may cause the leaves to be detached even though this is a safe approach. Another method is the use of horticultural oil or insecticidal soap which has proven to give good results. Before apply chemicals read and follow the manufactures label because the label is the law. But what if the aphids are not living above ground but rather below ground causing injury to your plant what do you do?

Root aphids control

Garden insect pest does not only live above ground but some also can be found inhabiting the soil. These insect pests cause injury to plant life by feeding on the plants root system or burrowing through the soil cutting the plant root’s when this happens garden plants have a difficult time and in some cases depending on the severity of the damage is no longer able to take up water and nutrients, when this happens the plant will eventually be lost, if quick action is not taken at the onset of these uninvited ( aphids ) guest.

The challenge with these insect pests as mention earlier is they inhabit the soil or can be found at the soil line, therefore, a thorough inspection along with proper recognition of these insects are so important.

How to identify root aphids

The root aphid is similar in appearance to their family in the photo above, which is small and pared shaped. Their color is generally white and brown but their colors can vary depending on environmental conditions along with what they are feeding on, other symptoms may include stunting of your plant, the foliage, flowers, and stems are no longer healthy looking and the plants leave will also wilt. Further investigation at the soil line may reveal deformed roots which have knots along with a build-up of the aphid secretion that is known as honeydew. Aphids may also be seen moving about in the soil along with the presence of ants. Ants feed on the aphids secretion which is sugary, the presence of these ants is to protect the aphids from predators and the ant’s reward as stated earlier is to collect and feed on this sugary secretion.

How to treat root aphids

Although root aphids are a menace all is not lost once the proper action is taken to bring these garden insect pests under control. Below we will be discussing a few measures which can be taken that will ensure success.

Growing Medium

Growing medium plays an important role in the control or prevention of root aphids, compost, and commercial soil mixes should be inspected for the adults along with their eggs and larvae. Soils can also be sterilized before use, it is also good to start a compost pile at home that way you are sure that you are using a quality organic mix.

Soil Drenching

Drenching the soil with systemic is another way to rid your soil of root aphids but keep in mine to read and follow the manufacturer’s label because what you don’t want is to misuse these chemicals damping more than the required amount which can get into the water system also remember you don’t want to mishandle chemicals especially when it comes to food crops.

Beneficial Nematodes

The use of beneficial nematodes has been used as a safe approach or biological control to treat soil-inhabiting insect pests. Nematodes are tiny parasitic worms that infect these soil dwellers. What is so great about nematodes is they will not affect plant life in any negative way except to help them by getting rid of aphids. Nematodes are totally harmless to people, earthworms and animals. They can be purchased from your plant nursery or garden center.

How to apply nematodes

Nematodes can be applied by filling a spray bottle with water and adding the number of nematodes as instructed by the label on the package. The proper mixture is reached by gently shaking the bottle then spraying this mixture around the base of your plant wetting the soil completely. Once this action is taken these nematodes will penetrate the soil and go to work within about 24 hours. Months after this application they will still be hard at work. This process can be repeated if root aphids reappear.

The Final

I am so happy that you stuck around to the end, it’s wonderful to know that these insect pests can be eliminated. For many, it is so frustrating when your garden plants are declining of some underlying issue and you can’t seem to put your finger on it. The good news is the answers to your question is just a click away by visiting this website and searching for what you need. We will continue to bring you the most updated information in this industry so you can always be a step ahead. If you are one of those who are having problems with the root aphids you have just gotten the answer so go ahead and give it a try as we continue to win the war on garden insect pests.

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10 comments

  1. Queen says:

    Yet another great article! I am just glued to site, reading through a lot of things I am unaware of. When it comes to dealing with root aphid insects, I can see it can be pretty challenging, but learning exactly how to deal with it in the simplest of ways, is the bomb! I am putting down every single method listed above in preparation for the time I will ever have need for it.

    Thanka tonne

    1. Norman says:

      Hello, Queen, it is always a pleasure to see you and I am so happy that you are finding my site to be of good help. All the best to you and have a good evening.

  2. Mark says:

    I’ve heard of aphids, but never given them much thought until I read this. I had no idea that honeydew was basically their excrement. Yuck! I never knew they could attack the roots of plants, either. It makes sense that we should use the most harmless approach possible for getting rid of them, though. There’s no need to injure any less harmful insects, if it can be avoided. Some of those might actually be beneficial. I think when it comes to these matters, we basically live and learn. We figure things out as we go. There was a time when many of the things we do now that are known to be harmful were not given much thought to. So now that we’ve learned, we can try to figure out better ways. In a few years, we may find out that some of today’s methods that we thought were better aren’t so smart either, but until that happens, we go with what we know. Very informative article! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Norman says:

      Hello, Mark so good to see you. Aphids like other garden insect pests can really do a lot of damage but it is always good to keep the beneficial insect in mind by going the safe route. It is so amazing how quickly things change, it may be good for today but then tomorrow it may not be so good. So we should stay with the times to keep up to date. So glad to help, all the best to you and have a good day.

  3. Henry says:

    Hi! Thank you for educating us concerning the use of environmentally friendly products. And I have also learned a couple of useful things here that will improve my garden. I didn’t know insect pest could be found inhabiting the soil. And they truly cause a lot of damage and can even kill our plants. Thanks for also telling us how to identify root aphids. I’ll apply these measures you have recommended to control these insect pests.

    1. Norman says:

      Garden insect pest live above as well as below ground but the good news is we can win the war against them with the right knowledge. I am so happy to help.

  4. Antonio says:

    Hi

    Controlling any pest in the garden is always difficult,as many of them only act for such a short time. Aphids are so familar to gardeners especially if you are trying to grow prize winning roses or tomatoes that are attacked by whitefly or fava beans which are prone to be attacked by blackfly. 

    I got to admit I did not know that there was breeds of aphids that attacks roots, but I am well aware of black soot or mosaic virus that can be spread by aphids. Thank you for this information which I will apply to my garden.

    I have heard of vine weevil grubs eating strawberry plant roots.

    Can these aphids by controlled by insects such as the ladybug?

    Thanks

    Antonio

    1. Norman says:

      Hello so happy to see you. Ladybugs are beneficial that can control aphids. This method is used as biological control. This is a safe way to treat garden insect pest such as aphids. Hope this helps, all the best to you and have a good day.

  5. DorcasW says:

    Hi; It is so educating reading your post. All along I was made to believe that Nematodes was an enemy insect to plants, especially to Bananas. Now I know that it was a mitt.

    When it comes to the Aphids, they are one of the most destructive insect pests I know. The above the ground Aphids seems to have travelled in the night. I see them in the mornings on plants that I never left them on at late evening.

     I used soapy water mixed with salt to eradicate them totally; both from leaf and root. Depending on how rigid the plant leaves are, the application might scorch them a bit, but not to worry, within a few days new leaves replace the scorched ones and the Garden is on its way to excellence.

    Is the Nematodes easy access at farm stores?

    DorcasW

    1. Norman says:

      Hello so good to meet you and it is good to know that you are knowledgable in this area when it comes to aphids. When it comes to Nematodes you should be able to find them at your plant nursery or garden center if not then they can be ordered online. Hope this help and thank so much for sharing. All the best to you.

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