Oct
6

Pest Diary no.1 Aphids

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 Gardening Tips


Aphids

Order: Hemiptera
Sub-order: Sternorrhyncha
Family: Aphididae


AphidsAphids are small sap-sucking insects which grow to about 2.5mm in length. Aphids can be green, white, brown, wooly etc. There are eight native species and up to ninety-eight introduced species which attack a wide range of native and introduced plants and commercial crops. They are usually found on the soft new growth of plants where they suck out the plant’s juices from the developing shoots and flower buds causing flower loss, defoliation and deformation of buds.


 

Aphids farmed by ants

Ants tending AphidsAs they feed they excrete a sugary substance called honeydew which is eaten by ants. The ants will protect the aphids from predators and even move them to untouched shoots on the plant. An unsightly black fungus called sooty mould will grow on the honeydew and cover the leaves and branches of the plant.






Predators of aphids

Ladybird eating AphidsAphids are eaten by ladybirds and their larvae, hoverflies and their larvae, lacewings and birds. A biological control for the rose aphid is a tiny parasitic wasp called Aphidius rosae.













Control of aphids

Aphids can be controlled with pyrethum or garlic spray but these will also kill beneficial insects as well. They can also be hosed off with a jet of water. White oil is also used to control aphids. Eco Oil from Organic Crop Protectants is a certified organic oil which we use ourselves to minimize environmental impact while still obtaining control of aphids. The best way to control aphids is to build up the health of your plants through mulching, watering and fertilising correctly as healthy plants are more resistant to pests and disease.