Aphids are soft-bodied insects that feed on plant juices using piercing-sucking mouthparts. There are many species of aphids and they may be white, yellow, green or black. They may be specific to a single plant or feed on many.
- Herbaceous plants, rose, maple, mayday, spruce, elm, and poplar are common host plants.
- Almost any plant may be affected, including grasses.
The first sign of aphids is the presence of sticky spots (honeydew) on leaves, or a black appearance (sooty mould) on the bark. Heavy feeding causes leaf deformation and curling, followed by leaf death.
Cultural or Non-chemical Controls:
Can be controlled by knocking them off affected plants with a forceful stream of water when first noticed. Ladybugs, pirate bugs, ground beetles, parasitoidal wasps, other insects and birds prey heavily on aphids. Diversifying your yard with a wide selection of shrubs, perennials and groundcovers will boost populations of beneficial insects and songbirds. Many beneficials overwinter in dead leaves and trash, so leave your garden cleanup until mid-May so you don't accidentally throw them in the trash.
Heavy infestations may require an application of insecticidal soap.