Best Tips for treating Aphid infestation on plants
Aphids are common pest of home garden. They are attracted to new growths on plants. Aphids reproduce and move from one plant to another plant very quickly so it is important to control them as soon as signs of infestation appear. Below are the tips of identifying and treating aphids.
Aphids are tiny ( 1/32’’ to 1/8’’ ) pear shaped green, white, black, brown or pink sap sucking insects having long antennae and two hind projection out of posterior abdomen. Aphids reproduce and multiply in no time. It takes nymphs 1-2 weeks to reproduce. Female lays eggs on leaves, bark and eggs hatch in following spring. In very mild climates and in greenhouses aphids may reproduce whole year. Aphids are highly mobile, they move from one plant to another very quickly. Aphids secret a sugary substance called honeydew which attracts ants as well as allows a sooty mold to grow.
Watch for green, black or pink pear shaped insects on new growths like soft green stem and flower buds as Aphids tend to infest on new growths of the plant. This result in deformed young foliage and flower buds falling off the plant.
1. Press and kill mealy bugs in case of small infestation, it sends off chemical signal that may warn other aphids.
2. Snip off the plant part if infection is seen in only a part of the plant.
3. Wash aphids away with strong blast of water. Repeat it if required.
4. Wash the plants with water mixed with mild detergent.
5. Use a homemade garlic spray, mix crushed garlic with water and allow water to become infused with garlic scent. Aphid doesn’t like smell of garlic and move away from the plant.
6. Wipe aphids off the plants using cotton soaked in rubbing alcohol.
7. Buy ladybugs or parasitic wasps which feed on aphids. You can order them online.
8. Use neem oil spray, it is derived from neem tree ( Azadirachta indica ). It is safe to use neem oil on food, vegetable and ornamental plants.
9. Purchase insecticidal soap from market. It works on aphid’s cell membrane making it weak and collapse ultimately resulting in fluid loss from aphid body thus killing it.
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