What Are Aphids?

Aphid is the common name for a large family of insects consisting of a variety of species. Certain species are better known by their common names such as Blackfly or Greenfly. High populations can be difficult to control as Aphids are capable of reproducing asexually and therefore able to produce live young rapidly and in high numbers. In warm conditions one female Aphid can produce up to ten eggs per day over several weeks. Other species mate and lay eggs that overwinter. Aphids are usually wingless but can develop wings when they wish to disperse. This is normally stimulated by temperature, day-length, lack of food and overcrowding.

Aphid Damage & Symptoms

The damage Aphids cause can be critical and effect the ability of plants to reproduce quickly. Aphids extract sap from plants, withdrawing the nutrients plants require to be healthy and strong. This will be evident when plants become distorted, suffer from reduced growth and show crinkled leaves. The Aphids digest the sap and deposit it as honeydew, making plants and fruit sticky. The honeydew often grows black moulds which further destroys the appearance of plants. Aphids can also transmit harmful plant viruses, which further weakens, and stunts, plant growth.

How To Control Aphids

Biological control of Aphids can be a challenge due to their rapid reproductive capacity, so attempting to prevent large populations of Aphids forming is a good starting point, especially if treating plants in greenhouses or heated areas.

For Early Indoor Control & Prevention Methods 

Try introducing our parasitic wasp products such as the Aphidius colemani and Aphidius ervi, or our multi-parasite product: Aphiscout. For larger Aphid populations, try our Aphid predators such as the Lacewing larvae or the Aphidoletes, which are capable of consuming large numbers of Aphids and can be used in conjunction with our Aphid parasite products.

For Outdoor Control On Vegetables Or Shrubs (Such As Roses)

Try applying our Ladybird Larvae. The larvae can be applied directly to the infested areas. They can also be applied if they are placed inside the included Dragonfli cotton bags, which are hung on plants, from which the larvae will emerge to consume the Aphids.

For Low Growing Plants (Such as Lettuce Or Small Pot Plants)

Sprinkle Lacewing larvae over the infested plants. Predators such as these can consume large numbers of Aphids quickly.

A major benefit in not using chemical insecticides for Aphid control is that naturally occurring predators such as these will be attracted to Aphid infested plants, so further Ladybird and Lacewing larvae, and other predators such as Hoverfly larvae, may arrive to tackle your infestations.