Identifying Aphids in your garden

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Aphids

Aphids, soft-bodied and small (under ¼-inch) insects known as ‘plant lice’, are the enemies of farmers. They are pear-shaped and may be seen in various colors like red, black, green, yellow and brown. They have two long antennas and two tubes to protect from the hind end. You can find different aphids according to their stage of life; small and thin bugs are young while the big and round aphids are adults. Usually, adults don’t have wings, but when the population becomes high, they can develop wings to travel to a new colony. Sometimes ‘Green fly’ or ‘Black fly’ is also aphids with wings. Even aphids are divided as per plants also; for example – potato aphids, cabbage aphids, melon aphids and bean aphids.

Damage Done By Aphids

Healthy plants can be hard to maintain with such harmful bugs if proper care if not taken beforehand. Aphids mainly suck fluids from the flowers and leaves that decrease the nutrients of the plant. Another problem is sweet; sticky substance called ‘honeydew, produced by the aphids. Honeydew drops can be the cause of ‘sooty mold’ fungus that turns the leaves and branches of the plant black. These sweet drops can also attract ants. Leaves may also curl and yellowish due to an infestation of aphids.

Prevention and Control

  • Insecticidal soaps and fatty acid salts are useful against aphids.
  • Neem oil is very effective against bugs but use it carefully.
  • Spray cold water on plants because cold blast can destroy aphids.
  • Take 1-quart water, one Tsp liquid soap, and a little cayenne pepper, stir it and spray.

Aphids quickly multiply, so prevent them before reproduction.

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