Aphids are one of the pests that most frequently attack plants, both indoors and outdoors. They are tiny parasites, barely half a centimeter long, and they feed on the sap of leaves and flowers, and sometimes also on branches that are still green.
But although they may all seem the same to us, it is known that there are more than 4000 types of aphids. They are found in practically all the warm and temperate regions of the world, something that makes them a threat to plants, especially the youngest ones.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are the most popular types of aphids?
- 2 What damage do they cause?
- 3 How do you fight aphids?
What are the most popular types of aphids?
Talking about all the types of aphids would give us a book, so we are going to show you the most common so that you can identify them in case they affect your plants:
Black bean aphid (Aphis fabae)
It is a type of aphid believed to be native to Europe and Asia, although it has become naturalized throughout the world. As its common name suggests, its body is black, and it has white and blackish legs. But in addition to affecting beans, we can find it in many other types of plants.
As a curious fact, it must be said that it is migratory. A team of entomologists discovered that a population of these aphids appear in France at the beginning of summer, and that at the end of that season they move to Scotland (you have more information here!).
Cotton aphid (Aphis gossypii)
The cotton aphid is a tiny insect found especially in the tropical regions of the Americas, Central Asia, and in the temperate / warm regions of Europe. They have a rounded body, yellowish or dark green in color, and are about 2 millimeters long.
It is a common pest in horticultural plants, such as watermelon, cucumber, melon, pumpkin and the Citrus (orange, lemon, mandarin, etc.). But it also damages hibiscus and, how could it be otherwise, cotton.
Oleander aphid (Aphis nerii)
The oleander aphid It is orange-yellow in color, and measures about 2 millimeters. It is thought to have originated in the Mediterranean region, as it has oleander as its main host plant. But since this is a much-loved plant in gardens, the pest has been accidentally introduced to other countries.
In addition to affecting the nerium oleander, also causes damage to dipladenia, plumeria, vincas; and it is sometimes found in citrus fruits, euphorbias, campanulas, and asteraceae.
Apple aphid (Aphis pomi)
East It is a green aphid that has a pear-shaped body. It is native to Europe, but has been introduced to other countries, such as North America, West Asia, India, Pakistan, and Israel.
Its favorite host plant is the apple tree, but it also harms the pear tree, European medlar, quince, rose bush, spiraea, and hawthorn.
Green citrus aphid (Aphis spiraecola)
The green citrus aphid It is an insect with a round, green body with black legs.. Like other aphids, it can transmit different viruses, the most worrying being the citrus sadness virus, which can kill affected plants.
In addition to these fruit trees, it also feeds on rose bushes, peach, pear, almond, medlar, apricot, and others. Rosaceae, as well as the asteraceae and umbelliferae.
Cabbage aphid (Brevicoryne brassicae)
It is a type of aphid originating in Europe, from where it has been introduced in other countries of the world. It has a grayish-green body which is covered by a waxy secretion., which makes it look grayish-white.
Although it multiplies rapidly, it only feeds on plants of the Brassicaceae family, that is, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, radish, among others.
Ashy apple aphid (Dysaphis plantaginea)
The ashen aphid of the apple tree is native to Europe, but today it is possible to see it in practically all the world, except Australia. It measures about 2-2,6 millimeters, and has a pink to dark blue-gray body covered by a powdery wax.
Use the manzano as the main host plant, although it is also observed in those of the Plantago genus.
Plum mealy aphid (Hyalopterus pruni)
This is a type of aphid native to Europe that has a pale green or brown body coated with a white waxy powder. It measures about 2-3 millimeters, and it multiplies with extraordinary rapidity.
It hurts all plants of the genus Prunus, especially the plum, which is its main host plant.
What damage do they cause?
Although there are many species of aphids, they all cause the same damage and are fought in the same way. Before moving on to the treatments that we must apply to the affected plants, let's see what are the damages they cause:
- The flower buds do not open and end up falling.
- The leaves have discolored spots (in some cases they turn reddish) in the areas where there are aphids.
- Leaf fall.
- Appearance of ants and / or the bold fungus, as a consequence of the honeydew secreted by aphids.
How do you fight aphids?
It can be done with ecological and chemical treatments. If the pest is not widespread and / or the plant is small, we recommend the application of diatomaceous earth., which is a natural and highly effective insecticide. In the video we explain how it is applied. Also, if you have the possibility, it is very interesting to raise ladybugs, since they feed on these insects.
In the case that it is large, or it is preferred to use chemicals, the most effective active substances are cypermethrin, chlorpyrifos, and deltamethrin. But yes, it is possible that some of them are not allowed in your country or that it is necessary to have a user card of phytosanitary products, so it is important that you inform yourself in a plant nursery in your area before acquiring the product.
Did you know these types of aphids?