28 March 2011

Wednesday Wigglers ~~~ Aphids

The aphid group includes all aphids, blackfly and greenfly and are definitely FOE.

They vary in colour from green, pink, and yellow, black, greyish-white to brown and are about 2mm long.  Most of us would be familiar with greenfly on our roses or blackfly on our broadbeans.

Aphids are sap sucking insects and produce honeydew that sooty mould can form on.  They attack exposed parts of plants and roots.
They can spread virus and ants farm them.

Shocking fact about aphids: 

A newborn becomes a reproducing adult at 1 week old, can then produce five offspring per day for up to 30 days.  Aphids can reproduce asexually.  As it's babies all have babies after just one week, by the time the first newborn reaches the end of it's reproductive life there could be 1,590,155 of the little devils!

They can also lay eggs and live young.

Companion planting can encourage beneficial insects and predators such as hoverfly and lacewing larvae into gardens. 

Insecticidal soap is very effective but kills beneficial insects too.

Protective cloches can be places over crops to prevent aphids infesting them but as they're so tiny they would be very difficult to stop.  Squashing them between your fingers or spraying them off of plants with a blast of water from the hose works well too but you have to check the plants daily.


  1. Aphids are one of our biggest issues when growing brassicas, I had no idea how fast they could reproduce...no wonder I can't ever get rid of them. The past two years have not been nearly as bad though as the lady bugs have started showing up in droves, hope the same happens this season.

  2. Encouraging the preditors like ladybirds and hoverfly (and whatever else you may have that we don't) is a great idea but, as you say, takes a while to build up. I agree, they're a blooming nuisance!


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