What are Aphids?

Aphid is the common name for a large family of insects consisting of a variety of species. Certain species of Aphid are better known by their common names such as the Blackfly or Greenfly. The damage Aphids cause to plants can be critical and effect the ability of plants to reproduce quickly. High populations of Aphids can be difficult to control. This can occur due to the fact certain species of 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 Aphids per day over several weeks. Other species of Aphid mate and lay eggs that will overwinter. Aphids are wingless most of the time but can develop wings when they wish to disperse. This is normally stimulated by temperature, day-length, lack of food and overcrowding.

Damage and symptoms

Aphids extract sap from plants, and in doing so withdraw 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 sap Aphids remove is digested, will move through the Aphid, and is then deposited back onto the plants as honeydew. This will make plants and fruit sticky and 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.

Control your Aphid infestation with a range of Dragonfli predators

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 and 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 to be 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. Find our range of relevant products below.