Aphid damage on gardens and yards are mostly due to the activities of nymphs and adults. They feed on the stems, leaves, flowers, and fruits, preferring clusters of new growth. Some species even attack plant roots. Getgreenside.com and other lawn experts shed some light on how to control aphid populations, and eventually get rid of them completely.
The signs of infestation
Aphids hide on the underside of leaves. They are mostly invisible to the naked eye, but you will see them as tiny rounded insects with some sporting woolly coating. They come in different colors, including black, white, gray, and brown. Some have pink, yellow, red, or green coloring. In some cases, you will not see the insects.
The only sign you will see is a sticky substance all over the leaves and stems. This secretion is known as honeydew. Other signs of their presence are yellowing leaves. Plants with curling leaves and distorted flowers have also been attacked by these insects.
The problem with aphids
Aphids hatch from eggs to emerge as nymphs, which can multiply by themselves to double the population in a week’s time. The adults are wingless, but some females develop wings, which facilitate the emergence of new colonies elsewhere.
Aphids are harmful to plants because they suck sap, which is essential to plant growth. Aphids not only feed on plants and destroy them physically. The sweet honeydew they secrete attracts fungus, which may cause diseases. They also carry certain viruses, which when transmitted to plants cause disease as well.
What can you do to control the aphid population and protect your plants? You can prune infested parts of plants, but you will be losing most of your lawn and garden with this approach if the infestation is widespread. The best way to deal with aphids is to introduce other insects that prey on them. Diatomaceous earth also protects the yard from aphids, so consider applying the substance at the outset.