Aphids, also called plant lice, are small,winged insects that live on the underside of leaves and eat plant life. Aphids can be black or brown, or the insect can be pink, green or yellow. At 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch in length, the insects are often easily missed until the infestation is severe enough to cause damage to gardens, crops and houseplants.
Habitat and Behavior
Aphids live in nearly all environments, including swamps, deserts and forests, and are found in most countries around the world. The insects are very lightweight, which allows aphids to travel for long distances on wind currents. Aphids are not active during the winter months, but are active during both the day and at night throughout the warmer months of the year. Aphid populations can remain in the same area for long periods of time as long as plant life is present to support the food requirements of the colony.
Males are not necessary for female aphids to reproduce. The female aphid lays female eggs when males aren’t present, and the colony can continue this method of reproduction indefinitely. Aphids are well-know for their ability to damage crops. The insects live along the plant stem and under leaves, and produce a sugar by-product called honeydew that remains on the plant. The sugar can draw ants and other insects to the area.
Damage Caused by Aphids
A single aphid can produce hundreds of larvae within a short period of time, which allows the insects to infest greenhouses and gardens very quickly. Because aphids are active 24 hours a day, the insects can quickly damage large quantities of plant life when the insect is left uncontrolled. The honeydew produced by aphids also encourages damage to plant life. Insects that eat the honeydew may unintentionally damage the plant in search of or while consuming the sugary by-product.
If aphids are damaging your lawns and garden, or eating valuable crops, contact Clegg’s online or by telephone at 888-672-5344 for assistance in controlling the pests.
Image via: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphid