How can I control aphids? What do they look like and what is their life cycle?

aphids

Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects with long, slender mouth parts that they use to pierce stems, leaves, and other tender plant parts and suck out plant fluids. Almost every plant has one or more aphid species that occasionally feeds on it. Many aphid species are difficult to distinguish; however, identification to species is not necessary to control them in most situations.

IDENTIFICATION Aphids may be green, yellow, brown, red, or black depending on the species and the plants they feed on. A few species appear waxy or woolly due to the secretion of a waxy white or gray substance over their body surface. All are small, pear-shaped insects with long legs and antennae. Most species have a pair of tubelike structures called cornicles projecting backwards out of the hind end of their bodies. The presence of cornicles distinguishes aphids from all other insects. Generally adult aphids are wingless, but most species also occur in winged forms, especially when populations are high or during spring and fall. The ability to produce winged individuals provides the pest with a way to disperse to other plants when the quality of the food source deteriorates. Although they may be found singly, aphids often feed in dense groups on leaves or stems. Unlike leafhoppers, plant bugs, and certain other insects that might be confused with them, most aphids do not move rapidly when disturbed.

Find out how to control aphids

 

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