What Do They Look Like? – Aphids are tiny, soft, pear-shaped insects that come in a variety of colors (i.e. white, gray, pink, green, black). There are thousands of species, hence the differences in color. Not all aphids have wings, but some do, although the nymphs will not. The main thing to look for is a small “colony” of tiny insects that don’t jump or hop.
Where Do They Live? Everywhere! Aphids can live anywhere in North America, feeding on all kinds of plants. Vegetable plants, flowers, ornamentals, houseplants; all are on the menu.
How Do They Live? Aphids mate in the fall, with females laying eggs on plant stems or crevices. The eggs stay put during the winter and as soon as temps rise in the spring, they hatch. Aphids can reproduce year-round if temps are warm enough. They reproduce very fast since the females of some species can reproduce without mating.
What Do They Do To Plants? Aphids suck out plant sap and fluids causing distortion in all parts of the plant. While feeding, aphids excrete a sticky substance onto the plant. Plants will begin to look poorly as aphids feed, with distortion, mold sticking to affected parts and leaves and flowers dropping.
What Can You Do Now? One solution is to hose off the insects with a very strong spray setting. This does tend to work really well. If you’re worried that they may then get on other plants, then option two is for you. Use a natural insecticidal soap such as Bonide Insecticidal Soap after aphids are present. Next Year: If you treat with horticultural oil after temps top 40 degrees, but the plant hasn’t leafed out yet, you won’t see any aphids hatch.
A Note About Aphids: Why Are Ants Living With The Aphids? – Are you noticing lots of ants on a plant in your yard? Look closely and you may see that the end game for the ants is a colony of aphids. Ants suck fluids from aphids that the aphids are taking from the plants. The ants in return protect the aphids from predators such as birds and wasps.