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Controlling Aphid Insects

Aphids are one of the most common garden insects. They can infest flowers, vegetables, some herbs, shrubs and trees. It's not one tiny insect that causes problems. Its the rapid development of colonies of hundreds and thousands on your favorite plants, that feast upon the sap of the plant.

Tiny Aphids suck on the plant juices or sap. They can be a wide range of colors, including white, red,  brown or black in color. Reproducing every 7-10 days, they multiply rapidly. Aphids pierce the leaves and buds of plants to feed on the sap. In large numbers, they weaken the plant, robbing it of the nutrients it needs for healthy, vigorous growth. While most plants can survive the infestation, leaves are damaged, growth is slowed, and flower and fruit development can be affected. The aphids piercing of the plant, also can result in plant disease. In the worst cases, the plant can be killed by an infestation.

Aphids also secrete a sticky substance, called "Honeydew". This Honeydew can be a nuisance when a major infestation occurs.

Controlling of Aphids:

Aphids gather in huge numbers. They often prefer the underside of leaves, making control a little more difficult.

Here are some methods for controlling or eliminating them from your favorite plants:

  • Directly spray them with a stream of water. This works best on trees and shrubs where the plant is sturdy enough to withstand a strong steam of water from your garden hose. It can damage tender flowers and vegetables.

  • Organic insecticidal soaps

  • Insecticides, many kinds are effective against aphids. Check the label before you buy to be sure.

  • Fruit tree oils are effective on fruits trees.

Important Note: The sprays and insecticides need to come in contact with the aphids. Spraying of the underside of the leaves is a must. 

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