Plant Pest - Aphids

Common Name: Aphids, Green fly or Black Fly
Scientific Name: Aphidoidea

Aphids are common pests both in your garden and indoors. Identifiable by their soft bodies that vary in colour, however are mainly black or green. They tend to cluster together on new growth and around flower buds, since this is where sap is most concentrated in your plant. 

It is common for Aphids to be accompanied by Ants, which help protect and move them. Feeding off the stick honeydew they excrete. Aphids multiply quickly and weaken plants significantly. They can also damage flowers and fruit. For this reason, infestations should be treated as soon as possible. These insects are most abundant in Spring and Autumn when temperatures are moderate and plants produce some new soft growth, which they are highly attracted to.

Aphid Pest Guide and Treatment

Aphid Pest Identification

  • Small oval shaped bodies, can be hard to identify with the naked eye.
  • Usually clustered together forming a mass of tiny insects.
  • Can be a variety of colours but often black or green.
  • Small soft bodied insect of around 1mm - 4mm in length, may or may not have wings.
  • Sometimes accompanied by ants who herd them.

        How do Aphids spread?

        • Aphids are highly mobile and travel via crawling or flying.
        • Sometimes transported by ants who herd them and protect them.

            Conditions that enhance or hinder the proliferation of Aphids?

            • Aphids love nitrogen so are often found on new soft growth or seedlings.
            • Autumn and Late Spring are their most prolific season when temperatures are moderate.
            • Over watering or fertilizing plants can encourage Aphids.
            • High Temperatures of 25°C and above.

            Aphid Pest Treatment Plans

            Small manageable infestations

            • Quarantine the infected Plant.
            • Aphids are easily knocked off with a hard jet of water.
            • Make a solution of: 250ml hot water, add 1 x crushed garlic clove and steep until cool. Strain into a Spray Bottle and add a few drops of liquid dish soap. Sprits plant concentrating on young growth and flower buds.
            • Repeat until infestation has subsided.

            For tips on homemade pesticides check out: 8 Homemade Pesticide Sprays for indoor plants.

              Large infestations

              • Quarantine the infected plant. 
              • Rinse off as many of the bugs as you can.
              • Spray with an organic pesticide such as Neudosan or Pyrol.
              • Treat every 7 - 10 days until infestation has disappeared.

              Aphid Pest Guide and Treatment

              Aphid Preventative Measures

              • Avoid over watering or over fertilizing plants.
              • Inspect your plants regularly and treat infestations immediately.
              • Keep your plants in their optimal growing conditions. For more detailed care for your plant, checkout our Plant Care Tab.
              • Quarantine new purchases for a month to avoid introducing pests to your collection.
              • Wipe down your foliage and stems often with a Neem based pesticide.
              • Keep ant populations under control indoors.

              For more on Identifying and Treating Pest with Household items, Click here.

              Wild Card: 

              • Aphids are highly attracted to the colour yellow, find yellow sticky traps and place around plants. Aphids will get stuck and perish.
              • Encourage ladybugs as they are natural predators of aphids.

                For more on Plant Care Troubleshooting, Checkout our 2-Step Plant Health Guide.

                Shop Pesticides in our Plant Care Section here.

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