Aphids are small, soft bodied, pear-shaped insects with piercing, sucking mouth parts. They suck plant juices causing curling and distortion of leaves and stems in a wide range of plants. In addition, some aphids are a vector for many viral diseases, spreading them from plant to plant as they feed. They also secrete a sugary substance called honeydew as they feed. A black fungus called sooty mold grows on the honeydew and is not only unsightly but slows down photosynthesis.
Here are several different controls:
- A strong jet of water from your hose will usually knock them off. Repeat this as necessary.
- Spray with an insecticidal soap, Bonide All Seasons Spray Oil, Bayer Advanced Natria Multi-Insect Control, or Bonide Mite-X (all listed for organic gardening)
- Apply products containing malathion or pyrethrin
- Spray Bonide Eight
- Ornamentals can be treated with Bayer Advanced All-In-One Rose & Flower Care (DO NOT use on fruit trees, vegetables, or other food crops!).
- Ornamental trees and shrubs can be treated with Bonide Annual Tree & Shrub or Bayer Advanced 12 Month Tree & Shrub Protect & Feed. Always follow the label directions.
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