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Garden Pests... Aphids

Aphids are small insects that infest a whole range of perennials, annuals, fruit and vegetables, outdoor and occasionally indoor plants. They multiply quickly during warm weather and are extremely easy to identify as they are visible to the naked eye. The tiny soft bodied insects can be a range of colours green, black, pink, brown and white. The adults feed on the sap of leaves, new growth and flower buds, leaves can become misshapen or may curl becoming yellow, check the underside of leaves or the plant stems for infestations.  As the insects feed they secrete a sticky substance called honeydew which can become infected with sooty mould.

Controlling aphids is relatively easy, encouraging a wide variety of wildlife into the garden which are natural predators such as lacewings, ladybirds, hover flies and various spices of wasps these will feast on these little bugs. Planting a range of plants such as mint, yarrow, dill and fennel that may repels aphids may be a solution. A blast of water from the hosepipe will knock the aphids off the plant or washing the affected leaves and stems with a solution of a weak washing up liquid and water will eliminate these pests. Aphids hate garlic crush two cloves of garlic in a pint of water and leave overnight and use as a spray.  Commercial organic sprays are also available.  Keep the plants well watered during warm spells.  Chemical sprays are widely available but follow the manufacturers guidelines spraying carefully as they can harm other beneficial insects.


GREENFLY
These are easy to see they have pear shaped soft green bodies and affect a range of plants they can be spotted on the underside of leaves, new growth and the buds.

BLACKFLY
These affect a range of plants including broad, french and runner beans, the soft black bodies form dense colonies on new growth
leaves and stems.

ROSE APHIDS
Roses can get heavy infestations of black, green or pink aphids gathering in clusters on new shoots, leaves and buds they are extremely visible.


WOOLLY APHID These aphids are slightly different to other aphids in that they suck sap from the woody stems as well as leaves and buds they cause leaves to curl and turn yellow there could be damage to branches and the plant is suffering they are common on Pyracantha, Cotoneaster and Apple trees. They are easy to spot as the branches are covered with a fluffy white waxy material that resembles cotton wool. The adult aphids are a pinky brown colour and over winter in any crevices on the tree or shrub then forming colonies in spring where they extract the sap they are easy to control by scrubbing the branches with insecticidal soap.


APHIDS
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"Aphids are a common garden pest that causes damage to a range of plants learn how to control them organically"