How to Identify and Eradicate an Aphid Infestation
Aphids are among the most destructive insects for trees, shrubs, and ornamental plants. They suck the sap out of the plants, leaving them damaged and depleted. (Yes, even non-woody plants produce sap!)
They reproduce rapidly, giving them the ability to create a formidable infestation in a very short time. While aphids do go dormant in the winter, they will lay eggs in late autumn that hatch in the spring, ensuring that the cycle starts all over again.
This is why it’s critical to stay a step ahead when it comes to ridding your yard of these tenacious invaders. Lawn Pest Control Tips: How to Do it Right has additional helpful information on effectively addressing unwanted pests.
How can you identify an aphid infestation, and what can you do to get rid of them?
Aphids are tiny bugs- less than a quarter of an inch long, and they come in a variety of colors including red, yellow, green, brown, and black. Their bodies are soft and pear-shaped with 2 tube-like structures at the back end.
They are typically found on the underside of leaves and along the stems and branches of plants. Unlike most insects, aphids do not lay eggs, but rather produce live young. Thus, there are never any tell-tale signs of egg clusters.
Most aphids are flightless. However, with a really large colony, some of them may grow wings.
When a plant has been suffering an aphid invasion, it will generally begin to look unhealthy due to nutrient deprivation. Leaves and stems will begin to lose their color and firmness as the bugs continue to feed on them.
In addition, aphids produce a sticky substance that attracts ants, known as “honeydew.” This offers double trouble, as the plant now not only has 2 insect infestations, but the substance also promotes mold growth.
Aphids are notoriously difficult to get rid of, as many of them are resistant to common pesticides. Some homeowners choose to take a multi-tactical approach when it comes to addressing these pests.
Natural enemies of the aphid include several beneficial insects and arachnids you can add to your yard. These include lacewing flies, ladybugs, and crab spiders. Some of these can be purchased online or at your local garden shop.
There are also a few other natural remedies, such as diatomaceous earth and neem oil. A mix of natural and commercial interventions is typically the most effective treatment for aphids.
- Aphids cause damage by feeding on a plant’s sap, thereby depriving it of vital nutrients.
- They reproduce rapidly, and their eggs can survive the winter
- Aphids are tiny with 2 tail-like protrusions, and come in several colors.
- They produce a substance known as “honeydew” which attracts ants and causes mold.
- Aphids are often resistant to commercial fertilizers, so using multiple eradication methods together is most effective.
The best thing you can do is take immediate action if you’ve noticed any sign of aphids in your lawn and garden. That way you can address the issue before the invasion gets out of hand. TLC Landscapes is happy to assist with this and any other lawn care issues you’re facing.