Also called plant lice they are the bane of any plant enthusiast.
Aphids are found throughout our green planet, but are most common in temperate zones. They can migrate great distances, mainly passively through wind dispersal. Aphids have also been spread by human transportation by freighting contaminated foods.
The Anatomy of the little terror's are that they come in a variety of colours black, brown, pink and commonly green. They have soft bodies, thank the heavens this makes killing them quite easy, grab a pair of surgical gloves and softly, little pressure is needed rub the infected plant crushing the aphids in the process, do this once a week, also look out for ants they usually form a mutualistic symbiotic relationship.
Some species of ants "farm" aphids, protecting them on the plants that they eat, eating the honeydew that the aphids secretes from the terminations of their alimentary canals.
Plants exhibiting aphid damage can have a variety of symptoms, such as decreased growth rates, mottled leaves, yellowing, stunted growth, curled leaves, browning, wilting, low yields and death. The removal of sap creates a lack of vigour in the plant, and aphid saliva is toxic to plants. Aphids frequently transmit disease-causing organisms like plant viruses to their hosts.
Insects that attack aphids include predatory lady bugs (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) (ladybirds in the UK), hoverfly larvae (Diptera: Syrphidae), parasitic wasps, aphid midge larvae, aphid lions, crab spiders and lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae) and of course small birds.
So the big question is how does one get rid of these terrors naturally you look at your garden, you feed your plants with composts organic bounce-back a healthy plant is better equipped to deal with infestations, adding bone meal is also a good preventative method, bone meal toughens the plants skin making it difficult for aphids to puncture,
look at what type of plants you have growing in your garden do they attract insect eating birds, its also important to provide birds with places where they can hide or take cover from the weather, introduce a bird feeder plant indigenous plants, plants that are native to your area.
lady bugs are able to eat hundreds of aphids on a daily basis so stay away from pesticides since they also kill the your insects that kill aphids.
Article posted by: Bossiedokter (20 April 2010)
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