Aphids: The definitive guide and how to eliminate them
If you are a lover of gardening and planting, it is very likely that you have run into thousands of bugs or annoying insects that are given the task of damaging your flowers and crops, and among which aphids stand out as a real plague.
These animals of tiny size are considered a nightmare by those who have gardens or gardens and love to take care of them.
And, although they are small, these bugs can cause great losses in gardening by the speed with which they spread, ending with any leaf or flower that they find in their path, until they can not.
Well, if you want to take care of your plants but face a problem with these insects, do not worry!
Here we have left the definitive guide of aphids and how to eliminate them, so that you can keep your garden under control.
What are aphids?
Maybe you’re thinking that aphids are exactly the same vermin as fleas, but you’re wrong.
Fleas and aphids have no relationship, because their appearance and way of life are totally different.
As we have already mentioned, aphids are one of the main pests that attack plants and crops.
These animals, better classified as parasites, belong to the order Hemiptera and comprise about 4,000 different species.
Regarding its characteristics, aphids have small size, pear shape and can vary in color, whether black, yellow or green.
Some of them may have spots on their body, which is divided into three distinct parts: head, thorax and abdomen.
On the head of these animals there are a pair of thin and segmented antennas, some even have a kind of transparent wing.
These insects are distinguished mainly by two fundamental biological characteristics: viviparity and heterogeneity, two different ways of reproduction.
During the winter, these bugs reproduce sexually, laying eggs that are not born until late spring.
When this time comes, females can reproduce asexually, that is, without the need for mating.
Once they reach adulthood, these little bugs become winged females and go in search of new crops to feed themselves, colonizing them and filling them with more non-winged female aphids.
When autumn arrives, they reproduce again, giving birth to females and winged males that continue to mate and produce more eggs.
The eggs remain in hibernation and, when next spring arrives, the cycle starts again.
As for their diet, they live on the nectar of plants that suck with the help of a kind of beak.
They can adapt and proliferate in almost any environment, as long as they have plants and crops to feed on.
Why do aphids appear?
Now that you know what aphids are, you will surely ask: what causes their appearance?
Well, there are several reasons why these small but annoying insects may have reached your garden.
First of all, you should know that these parasites always go in search of plants or flowers to feed and nest.
So, if you have a garden or garden at home, it is quite possible that these bichillos appear over there.
This is even more likely in the spring and summer, when aphids tend to be exacerbated.
However, there are other factors that also influence and are: the aridity in the environment and the abuse of fertilizers.
And, although a well-fertilized soil is ideal for plants, too much compost could call aphids.
Now, although these insects feed on any plant, some are more prone to attack.
Roses, kalanchoe, chrysanthemums and tomatoes are some of the preferred victims of these pests.
Fortunately, it will not be long before we realize its unpleasant presence if we follow the following clues:
If you notice that the plant bends, deforms or that its leaves roll, it may have aphids.
The aphid fungus is a kind of black powder that forms on the surface of the leaves.
This fungus in particular is fostered by aphids, which secrete a substance that favors their formation.
These animals tend to attract ants, by secreting the substance known as molasses, which they devour in exchange for protecting them from other insects such as the ladybug, preventing them from being attacked and then swallowed by them.
Types or species of aphids
In case you do not know, in the world there are more than 4,000 species of aphids identified.
However, of such amount, only about 500 species are considered pests potentially harmful to crops.
You should know that some types of aphids tend to attack almost any plant, but others are much more selective.
This serves to classify them and differentiate them one from the other, grouping them in the following way:
Green peach aphid
This type of aphid usually affects mainly Solanaceae, such as potatoes, and chrysanthemums.
Cotton aphid or Aphis gossypii
It has a special preference for cucumber and pepper crops, and for the sowings of ornamental plants such as chrysanthemums, as well as some trees, such as cotton.
Black bean aphid
This type of aphid attacks mainly herbaceous crops, such as carrots, potatoes and artichokes.
However, it can also affect some ornamental plants, such as the lady at night and the oleander.
In general, this species of aphid attacks solanaceous plants, such as peppers, potatoes and tomatoes.
Cowpea aphid or Aphis craccivora
Also known as bean aphid, it attacks legumes, such as lentils, and soybeans.
Perhaps you think that, being an insect, aphids are stinging like mosquitoes and other bugs.
However, you should know that these tiny little animals do not usually attack people, but only plants.
These parasites have a kind of special beak they use to suck the sap from the plants. Thus, through their sting, they pierce the stem of the plant and begin to suck the juice.
This they do in a very accelerated and widespread way, so they are able to infest an entire garden.
Anyway, if you thought that these bichillos could sting you and make you hurt, you know that is not true.
Aphids are not dangerous for people, although this does not make appreciable bichillos far from it.
On the contrary, the damage they cause to the plants is reason enough to consider them dangerous and of care.
Are aphids dangerous?
Although aphids do not tend to attack people, they are considered a dangerous pest.
In fact, many of their species, 500 to be exact, are potentially dangerous for orchards and crops.
This is because, by feeding on the sap of the plants, they damage crops and generate large losses.
As we mentioned, the aphids stick their beak into the stem of the plants and suck the juice.
In this way, this bichillo removes nutrients from the plant, and it weakens until it completely perishes.
In addition, the aphid secretes a particular substance in its abdomen that hinders the important process of photosynthesis.
This substance is known as molasses, and is only the sap of plants partially digested and with added sugars.
When it falls on the ground and on the leaves, the molasses favors the growth of fungi harmful to plants.
To make matters worse, these animals have the ability to transmit viruses from one plant to another, infecting them all.
Thus, if a plant is sick and it stings, when it chops another healthy example, it transmits said virus to it.
Finally, another reason why they are considered dangerous for crops is because they attract ants.
You may have noticed that where there are aphids, there are ants, and this has an explanation.
As we mentioned, these parasites secrete molasses, which the ants consider their food source.
In gratitude to them, the ants prevent the natural predators of these parasites from killing them.
All this turns them into quite harmful bichillos when it comes to gardening and planting.
Therefore, eliminating them becomes an obligatory task for those who want to protect their plants and crops.
How to eliminate aphids?
Getting rid of aphids can be a difficult but not impossible task. Follow these tips and you will achieve it.
- Get rid of the undergrowth in the garden to prevent these bugs from hiding there.
- Perform periodic reviews of your plants to be aware of the presence of these animals and attack the problem in time.
- If you notice that a plant is sick, try to separate it from the rest to prevent them from becoming infected too.
- Cut the leaves and buds affected by these parasites, and remove the pests with the help of a toothbrush.
- Do not put too much fertilizer or fertilizer on your plants because you could be attracting these pesky little bugs.
- It uses systemic insecticides as an alternative to spraying and repeats every so often, especially during spring and summer.
- Apply copper oxychloride on the affected plants to eliminate the fungus of the bold.
- Let the natural predators of these bugs (ladybugs, wasps and lacewings) help you eliminate them.
If the problem has become too serious, contact an expert in pests and pest control.
Remember that a specialist can assist you in the selection of the best treatment to fight against these annoying insects.
Home remedies to eradicate aphids
In addition to the advice we have given you, there are some home remedies you can do to kill these bugs.
To prepare it, you should only mix 1 liter of water, 2 tablespoons of neutral soap and 2 tablespoons of alcohol.
Then, you must incorporate 4 cigarette butts that you have to macerate in half a glass of water.
Keep in mind that you will have to filter them well so that the residues do not end up clogging the nozzle of the sprayer.
Once you have the mixture, pour it into a spray container and spray on the plants affected by this insect.
Nettles based insecticide
Another very good option is to mix a handful of fresh nettles with water and let them marinate for 24 hours.
Once that time has passed, you should pour the mixture into a spray container and spray directly on the pests.
More tricks to kill aphids
In case all the above has not worked, do not worry! Maybe these tricks are the solution.
Garlic is a powerful repellent against hundreds of insects, and aphids are one of them.
To make this remedy, you should only mix 5 cloves of ground garlic in 1 liter of water and let it marinate.
After 24 hours, cook the mixture on low heat for 20 minutes and wait for it to cool.
Then, liquefy the preparation and place it in a container with spray.
Fumigate all your plants with the liquid every morning and you will see how the bugs disappear.
This remedy is great to eliminate not only the aphid and his henchmen, but also many other insects.
To do this, you should only mix soap and water to wash dishes and incorporate the mixture in a spray bottle.
Spray the mixture on your plants, at least once a day, and you will see that the bugs will eventually leave.
Now that you know all about aphids and how to eliminate them, you can have a garden or garden free of them.
However, if the problem is exacerbated, do not hesitate to contact an expert in insect control.
He will evaluate if it is an infestation by these bugs and can prescribe the appropriate treatment to eradicate them.
So you can have the garden of your dreams, with the plants and flowers that you like the most and … without aphids!