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Aphid Information and Control

Info / Symptoms:

Aphids are one of the most destructive pests for plant life. They cause damage to many different types of plants by sucking the sap of the plant as well as transmitting viruses from plant to plant. Aphids can have many effects on plants, especially those in temperate regions or indoors. Because female aphids breed heavily, infestations can occur at a rapid pace.


If your plant begins to show signs of distress, check the tops and bottoms of the leaves for very small insects. Aphids can be various colors (red, green, black, yellow and white are most common) depending upon their type and what they are feeding on. They can be almost microscopic, so make sure to look over the plant thoroughly. 

Control Methods:

Treating aphids can sometimes be tricky since they have become resistant to many different insecticides. It is also vital that any sprays are applied to both the tops and bottoms of each leaf. Here are the effective treatment options for Aphids:

 

*Organic* Option A (Wasco Nursery’s Preferred Method):

Neem Oil can be sprayed on both the tops and bottoms of each leaf. Neem oil is an organic insecticide, among other things, which is effective on aphids. Be careful not to spray neem oil, or any other insecticide, on any pollinator-friendly plants, while they are in bloom. Once the blooms have finished, they can be sprayed. Until then, use high-pressure water or soapy water to remove Aphids from the leaves.

 

Option B:

Bonide’s Eight Insect Control and Hi-Yield’s Bug Blaster are both very effective contact insecticides, with some residual left over. These can be sprayed onto any plant, including vegetables, since they do not get absorbed by the plant. Make sure to follow the instructions on the labels and do not spray during flower bloom time.

Option C (Best Option for Houseplants):

Bonide’s Systemic Insect Control is very effective and gets absorbed into the roots of the plant. This is great for houseplants that cannot be sprayed easily. This product takes 4-6 weeks to become effective, so it is best to do this preventatively.

Option D (Best Option for Large Trees):

Optrol Insect Control is a great insect control method for larger trees. This product will take 4-6 weeks to become effective, and will be absorbed through the root system of the tree. Do not apply this product within 4 weeks of the bloom time of any heavy-blooming tree (like Linden Trees).

Aphids on a Crabapple, Photo Courtesy of Wasco Nursery's Plant Experts