Aphids are common pests that can attack a variety of home garden and landscape plants. They are typically found clustering on succulent young shoots and leaves, although some species occur on flowers, twigs, branches and roots.
Our thanks to the University of Missouri Extension for this information.
Some of the home garden plants frequently attacked by aphids are beans, cabbage, cucumber, melons, peas, potato, pumpkin, squash and tomato. Examples of trees and shrubs often infested with aphids are ash, birch, elm, euonymus, hydrangea, linden, maple, oak, pine, tulip tree, viburnum, walnut, and many others.
Aphids seldom kill a plant, but when abundant they remove large quantities of sap, which reduces the vigor of the plant and can result in stunted plant growth. Leaves often become curled, puckered and yellowed due to aphid feeding. Some aphid species produce galls on stems and roots. Others transmit viruses or inject toxins into the plant when feeding.
Many aphid species take in more plant sap than they can absorb and use. The excess is excreted as a clear, sweet, sticky substance known as “honeydew.” Some tree-feeding aphids can produce such large amounts of honeydew that it often can be seen covering leaves, pavement or other surfaces below the infested tree. Often found growing on the honeydew is a black, sooty mold (fungi) that not only disfigures the appearance of plants but may also restrict photosynthesis. Honeydew is attractive to ants, flies, wasps and bees, whose populations around infested plants can become a nuisance.
Aphids are small, usually 1/8 inch or less in size, soft-bodied, pear-shaped with long legs and antennae; their color can vary from green, yellow, black, gray or red. They may have a pair of transparent wings held rooflike over the body, but wingless forms are more common. Also, aphids can be recognized by their cornicles, a pair of tubelike structures projecting from the rear of their bodies. These projections vary in length and width, depending upon the species.
Aphids can reproduce very quickly. The life cycle of most aphids can be as short as 1 to 2 weeks. Females usually reproduce without mating and give birth to living young — usually more females. Males are produced by some species only during the fall months. A typical species will produce several wingless generations in the spring, followed by a generation of winged forms. These fly to other plants where many more wingless summer generations are produced. As the days become shorter and cooler, a generation of winged aphids is produced which flies back to the winter host plant. Some species overwinter as eggs; others survive as immature or adult females.
Getting Rid of Aphids
There are several excellent products to get rid of aphids. Hi Yield Systemic Insect Spray kills insects and helps prevent new infestations of weevils, aphids, chinch bugs, cutworms, lacebugs, leaf hoppers, leaf miners, mealy bugs, mole crickets, Japanese Beetles, sod webworms, thrips, whiteflies and more. A very effective solution that provides rainproof protection and lasts for weeks. For use on turf lawns, roses, flowering shrubs, woody ornamentals and groundcovers such as english ivy and vinca. Apply when insects first appear and before high pest populations are established. Repeat if re-infestations occurs.
Hi-Yield Systemic Insect Spray also treats fruit tees such as apple, cherry, pecan, peach, plum and more for aphids, leafhoopers, leafminers, mealybugs, San Jose Scale and spittlebug. Refer to label for specific application instruction.