Aphids are a very common insect pest which cause issues on a number of plants, fruits and vegetables. They are also known as Greenfly and Blackfly.
What do they do?
They suck the sap from the plant, causing a lack of plant vigour, poor growth and create a sticky substance on leaves which allow sooty moulds to grow. They can also transmit viruses, which can be a problem on soft fruits, certain vegetables and ornamental plants such as tulips, sweet peas and dahlias.
- Aphids are usually visible. Check shoot tips, flower buds and the underside of younger leaves.
- Stunted tip growth - look at shoot tips for curled or distorted leaves.
- Sticky, clear substance (honeydew) on leaves, stems, fruit.
- White cast skins of young aphids (frass) that accumulate on the upper side of leaves.
How to treat
- Cultural - Monitor susceptible plants and be ready to implement control methods when necessary.
- Physical - squash them with fingers. Blast sturdy plants with water jets to dislodge.
- Biological - Encourage natural enemies in the garden (ladybirds, hoverfly larvae, lacewing larvae and certain parasitic wasps)
Many insecticides can be used to counter the effects of aphids, always make sure you read the label before applying. Plants in flower should not be sprayed due to the danger to pollinating insects, such as bees. We recommend: