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How to Control Aphids

How to Control AphidsAphids are small, soft-bodied insects with a long and slender mouth that is used to pierce stems, leaves, and tender parts of the plant to suck the fluids of the plant. They may be yellow, green, brown, red, or black depending on the species and the plants they feed on. Some may even look woolly or waxy. But that’s only because of the secretions they create.

Their bodies are small and pear-shaped with long legs and antennae. Some even come with cornicles that project backwards out of the hind end of the body.

As adults, they can reproduce many times each year. Most aphids reproduce asexually throughout much of the year and the females can give birth to live offspring (sometimes as much 12 a day) without mating or laying eggs.

How to Look for Aphids in the Garden

aphids can be found on many plants and trees in the garden. A lot of times they will be on the underside of the leaves and stems of the plant. They are very small and look almost like little bumps on the plant. If you look closely you will see they are insects.

So when you are looking for damaging insects in your garden, make sure to check the underside of the leaves and stems of the plant. They tend to hide from predators. If you see one or two, then there are more that you can’t see and even more on the way.

Damage

Almost every garden will have aphids feeding off the plants. Normal sized aphid colonies do not cause damage to the garden and trees but, if the colonies grow to large, they can damage your plants and trees. They will cause the leaves to curl,  to distort and stunt plant growth.

In vegetable gardens, plants such as  squash, cucumber, pumpkins, melons, beans, potatoes, lettuce, beets, chard and bok choy, aphids can cause the transmission of toxins and virus to plants.

Aphid Control

To keep your aphid colony in check, check them several times a week if not more. Just a few are ok. If you have beneficial insects in your garden they will generally limit the size of the colony. However, if you use harsh insecticides and fertilizers in your garden, then you may not have enough beneficial insects to control the aphids.

If you do not see insects feeding on the aphid colony when you are watering, then you might want to spray water on the colony. Keep in mind that tender plants can be damaged by the water. The water will dislodge the aphids and they may not be able to return to the plants.

Organic Aphid Control

If water can’t control the size of the aphid colonies in your garden, then you can try insecticidal soap. Insecticidal soap works great against aphids and most soft bodied insects. You can either make your own or purchase an organic brand from your local nurseries or big box stores.

If the insecticidal soap doesn’t work or if you need to treat for other insects as well, organic insecticides are available. These generally have different types of oils and organic ingredients that can irritate, damage, repel, and kill most insects.

Non Organic Aphid Control

If organic gardening isn’t for you, then almost any insecticide will kill aphids. Just make sure to check the label and see if it actually kills aphids.

Non organic insecticides are non selective and will kill beneficial insects such as butterflies and bees. So if your goal is to bring butterflies and other beneficial insects into your garden, you need to go organic and choose a method that will not harm your beneficial insects.

About the author

James spends most of his free time using social media and loves to teach others about design, web development, CSS, SEO, and social media. He is addicted to WordPress, social media, and technology. You can find him his business website , Evolutionary Designs Blog or his or, personal site Do not forget to follow him on Twitter @element321.

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