The most important thing about dealing with an aphid infestation is that you learn how to recognize them. They are small and sometimes of different colors, so it's hard for a gardener not only to identify what type of pest they are but also which one has made its way onto your garden soil!
Aphids feed on organic materials like leaves or other crops, which can cause significant damage if left unchecked--so make sure these pesky little bugs don't get away before taking action let's discuss this in detail.
Getting rid of aphids may seem difficult, but it doesn't have to be. You'll come across different ways and methods when learning to remove aphids from your plants. However, the method you pick should ensure that your ' 'garden's plants 'don't go to waste.
Aphids can damage your plants to quite an extent. They infiltrate through the plant and create destruction in them. In case you are concerned about your plant and want to know how these pests can destroy a garden, the guide below will help you fight and prevent these.
What is an Aphid?
You might have come across aphids if you are a grower or have closely observed plants if you aren't one. They appear as tiny, green bugs crawling away on the leaves of many plants. With a pear-shaped body, aphids are not only tiny but also soft, fragile beings. However, they can suck the life out of your plant.
Aphids can easily destroy your plants by using up their food. While they are mostly green in color, you can also come across aphids in different colors, such as yellow, orange, black, and gray. The size of an aphid is usually small, but it can still be pretty destructive.
This tiny creature can – in a few minutes – suck the life out of an entire garden! Whether you have an indoor garden or grow plants outdoors, the risk is the same for both.
How are Aphids Bad for Plants?
Most aphids get to grow their wings once they start sipping the fluid from the host plant. The host plant gives these micro predators the energy they need to get their wings.
This is why it is crucial that once your plant is infested with aphids, it is crucial to find a way to get rid of these life-sucking predators of your plants. Otherwise, if these tiny creatures get a chance, they will find a way to get to the roots of your plant. This will create havoc in your plants, drying them in a way that you wouldn't be able to restore them to their former state.
These aphids are bad for your plant also because they tend to leave behind the honeydew on the plants. Honeydew is quite detrimental to your plant's overall health. That is, your plant can even die because of the honeydew these pests leave after sucking the fluid out from the plants.
How Quickly Does an Aphid Spread?
There's no denying that aphids spread at quite a fast pace. The spread would be so quick that, within just one week, you can see an outbreak of aphids.
Female aphids reproduce rapidly, giving you another reason why you should worry about an infestation. One female aphid can give birth to up to twelve baby aphids every day. After a week passes, the babies grow enough to give birth on their own. The cycle continues.
Even though their life span isn't long enough, these can very rapidly cause an outbreak in your garden. As a result, all your plants and garden end up getting damaged. So, it is always better to track if there's any chance of aphids invading your garden. In this way, you'll save your garden from disruption.
How Can You Identify an Aphid on a Plant?
If you want to ensure your garden stays safe, you must find a way to identify an aphid on the plant. Though the process wouldn't be as straightforward as it seems because of the tiny size of these creatures, you can always use different tricks.
One of the strategies can be to check the undersides of the plants. These pests hide in different corners of a leaf, so when you are looking for these, be sure to check the hidden-most-corners of your leaves. If you want, you can also look for these in the bottom parts of the plant with a microscope's help.
On the other hand, these leaves have other micro-pests too that can look like an aphid. When looking for an aphid, you can look for the antennas and the pear-shaped bodies these aphids have.
You can also try examining the leaves of the plant to find out if the aphids are damaging your plants or not. For instance, you can check if your leaves or plants have any life left in them. If the plants were infested, the leaves would curl and dry out.
Other than that, the honeydew is enough reason to believe that aphids have infested your plant. However, you should ensure that the honeydew doesn't turn black because the change in color leads to fungus, commonly known as a sooty mold. This mold affects the plant's ability to undergo photosynthesis – as a result, your plant dies.
How Can We Prevent Aphids from Damaging the Plants?
To prevent aphids from damaging your plants, you can try these methods that are both effective and affordable. Let us discuss them in detail.
Aphid Control Preventive Sprays
Several products exist in the market that outdoor growers can use to save their plants from aphids. These products come in different forms, but the most common you would find are sprays.
Aphid control sprays are among the most used strategies plant growers use to fight microbial creatures in plants. The spray infiltrates through plants and kills off aphids and other pests present in your garden.
One of the sprays you can use in this case is Neem Oil. Neem Oil is a natural disinfectant spray most growers use to rid pests from their plants. It helps control the spread of aphids in your plant and is a safe way to control these tiny creatures from invading your garden.
However, do not apply on flowers as it can leave a bad taste on the buds unless you are absolutely careful with your spraying.
Ensuring a Healthy Growing Environment
When considering ways to control microbial creatures from your plants, an ideal grow room environment plays a significant role. The better the growth environment you provide to your plants, the better your plants will grow. A healthy grow room environment helps a great deal in managing the plant's overall growth, including preventing your garden from pests and aphids.
An ideal grow room environment means that you ensure a temperature within the range of 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Humidity rate is another factor that you want to keep intact – under fifty-five to sixty percent at maximum.
Be sure to control any excess moisture in the environment because it can attract fungi and pests to your plants. If you wish to learn more, you can consider one of our blogs, Grow Room Atmosphere and Environment, to help you maintain a healthy grow room environment.
Quick Ways to Get Rid of Aphids
Most often, you can find aphids spreading in your garden way more quickly than normal. This intense outbreak can be very worrisome. Once you find out that you have aphids in your garden, be sure to look for a solution to remove them as fast as you can.
How to Physically Remove Aphids from Your Plants?
Instead of waiting for the aphids to destroy your garden completely, consider cutting off the affected area. For instance, if the aphids cover a smaller chunk of your grow area, you can consider snipping a few leaves to ensure the utmost safety of your plants.
However, it would help if you stay extra alert and cautious because this can only be possible in the earliest infestation stage.
By Using Sprays
In case there's an intense outbreak in your grow area, be sure to make the most of the chemical sprays available on the market.
With different natural and safe pesticides available, you can use any spray that works for you. However, before spraying, consider taking all your indoor plants outside.
These are some of the products we recommend for spraying to fight against the aphids-
- General Hydroponics Exile Insecticide (OMRI – Certified Concentrate)
- General Hydroponics AzaMax Sprayer Concentrate (OMRI – Certified Pre-Mixed)
- Safer Brand – 3 in 1 Garden Spray ( OMRI – Certified Concentrate Broad Use Pesticide/ Fungicide)
In case you don't want to go for chemicals when fighting aphids, there are several ways you can still consider removing aphids from your plants. Some growers use soapy water to kill these microbial insects from their plants. They use soapy water by sprinkling it on the plants, leaving it for twenty-four hours. Later, they proceed by spraying off the insects from the plants.
Bugs to Control Aphid Population
If not soapy water, you can use beneficial bugs to get rid of aphids. It has long been used to control pest infestation in a growing environment. For example, ladybugs and lacewings are some of the ideal options you can use to control pest outbreaks in your grow environment.
However, bugs cannot always be suitable as they tend to fly when they deem right. They might not always be around to eat pests and aphids in your plants. Then again, if spraying doesn't suit your plants because of the chemicals present in them, use bugs to control the aphid population.
Don't Forget to Watch Out for Ants
Ants enjoy the taste that the aphids leave after sucking the fluid from the plants. If you find any trace of ants in your plant, there are more chances that aphids have invaded your grow area. Be sure to look for these, and in case you get to find them, don't forget to treat them. From using orange peel extracts to using the same old ant trap, you can try any method that works for you. In this way, you would get to scare away both these pests in an efficient manner.
The Bottom Line
The pest infestation in your plants can scare you. After all, you have put a truckload of effort into your plants, and seeing aphids damaging your crop can put you under a lot of stress.
But now you have the solution to all your aphid-related problems and at GroIndoor.com you can find all the tools you may need to get rid of them. However, to further understand the different pest invasions in plants and plant diseases, check one of our complete guides on common pests and diseases. You will surely find it insightful!