Aphids are very small, pear-shaped, soft-bodied insects that infest many plants, especially roses and vegetables. Often called "Plant Lice", they range from smaller than 1/8 to 1/4 inch long. They come in a variety of colors, but green, black and yellow are common.
Damage From Aphids
Aphids suck plant juices new shoots, buds and leaves. They cause new growth to become curled, stunted or puckered. Leaves can turn yellow and often drop. As they feed, Aphids can also spread diseases from one plant to another. Aphids produce honeydew, a sugary, sticky substance that hosts black sooty mold and attracts some types of Ants. If you miss the Aphids clustered along new growth, you may see Black Mold on lower leaves from fungus growing on the honeydew. Or, you might see Ants parading up and down stems feeding on the sweet honeydew. Often, controlling Ants can also help control Aphids. Aphids over-winter on plant parts or debris and then re-emerge in spring, congregating in large clusters, especially on new growth. Some Aphids can develop wings and move on to other plants. Aphids are most troublesome in the spring and summer.
Where Aphids Are Found Geographically
Aphids are found almost everywhere in the United States.
Related or Similar Pests
- A strong spray of water from a hose can remove Aphids from plant leaves and stems.
- Do not over-fertilize. Aphids love young, succulent growth.