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Aphids

 

QUICK FACTS SHEET FOR APHIDS
Common Name Aphid, Greenfly, Blackfly
Scientific Name There are around 500 different species in the UK.
Occurence

Trees, Plants, Flowers, Fruit, Vegetables, etc

Main Problems

Aphids feed on plant sap, turning leaves yellow and distorting their shape. They can also lead to the plant becoming
covered in mould and 
can transfer viruses from plant to plant.

Timings Active from March to October


What are Aphids?
Aphids are sap sucking insects from the Aphidoidea family. There are many different types including Greenfly and blackfly. The problem will start by an aphid flying onto a plant from another source. They give birth to live young which will begin feeding on the sap almost immediately. In 7-10 days these nymphs will give birth to their own live young. This can happen constantly throughout the growing season so populations can build up very fast.


What do they do?
Aphids have piercing mouthparts that feed on plant sap. As the plant sap is removed, the leaf will begin to turn yellow, wilt or fall off. This process of sap removal can also cause distorted leaves as the saliva produced by the aphids is toxic. If aphids feed on flower buds or fruit, these can also become distorted and malformed. The other major problem cause by these pests is the huge amounts of honeydew which the aphids secrete. This is a sticky substance which encourages the growth of a fungus called sooty mould. It can appear on leaves and branches as a black mould.

The major problem of aphids is that they are virus vectors. Viruses are carried in the mouthparts of aphids. These are much more difficult to control than the aphids themselves.


Identification
They are soft bodied insects that are usually found on the underside of leaves particularly new, soft growth. The aphids themselves can be seen quite clearly. The distortion of the leaves and the presence of sticky honeydew or sooty mould are also indicators of an aphid problem.


Control
Yellow sticky traps can be used to monitor the amount of winged aphids in the area. If you are trapping winged aphids, you are likely to have them on the plant somewhere. Yellow sticky traps are not a method of control, they are more of an indicator that action needs to be taken.

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