What are they and why don’t we like them?
Aphids are small sap-sucking insects and members of the superfamily Aphidoidea. There are around 5000 different species, all of which are terrible. Aphids are among the most destructive insect pests on cultivated plants in temperate regions. In addition to weakening the plant by sucking sap, they act as vectors for plant viruses and disfigure ornamental plants with deposits of honeydew and the subsequent growth of sooty moulds. Because of their ability to rapidly increase in numbers by asexual reproduction, they are a highly successful group of organisms from an ecological standpoint. However, they are super annoying from a “finding joy in the beauty of your plants” standpoint.
How can we control them?
During the active season, high infestations may require a foliar spray as well as a systemic soil application to bring populations to a more manageable level. Once the pest is brought below a threshold level a number of low impact options are available such as insect growth regulators, horticultural oils, and other biological products (including beneficial insect releases such as ladybugs, green lacewings, and praying mantises).
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