Aphid Alert

It’s April, time to be on aphid alert. The little pests can do a lot of damage to your favorite plants. 

Know your plant-killing enemy
First, you need to know that they are tiny; the bugs that earned the nickname ‘plant lice’ are usually less than an 1/8 of an inch long. There are thousands of species of aphids, so we won’t go into great detail on the differences between palm aphids and wooly aphids, but they are all about the same size and shape, they look like miniature pears, but you’ll see them in several shades of green, brown, red and even purple.

Aphids suck the life out of plants, they especially like new growth. It doesn’t take them long to gobble up greenery. If you see some of the leaves on your plants are curling up or turning yellow, check the back of them for aphids. The adults go after the leaves, while the babies feast on the roots.

Spring is a busy season for these pests, when aphids aren’t nibbling away at your plants they are reproducing, and reproducing, and reproducing. A single female can produce up 600 billion (yes, billion) in one season, and these youngsters are ready to make aphids on their own in about a week. And a female doesn't even need a male to have little aphids, but that's another story. So you can imagine how a small colony of the bugs can grow into an insect infestation real quick.

Another sure sign of a severe aphid issue is sooty black mold. Aphids produce a gross honeydew like material as they chew, the black mold grows on that sticky substance. The mold doesn’t kill the plant, but it along with the honeydew attracts even more damaging pests, like ants.

Attack on aphids
There are several ways to battle these bugs. Your tactics should depend on the number of aphids in your yard. If you catch the pest problem early, brush them off or hit them with the hose to wash them away. For more significant pest populations, trim the infested branches. If your aphids have been busy making lots and lots of other aphids try spraying them with a mixture of soap and water. The bug killing cocktail will dry them out. 

If bugs creep you out or there are too many to soap and water away, be sure to give us a call. Esterline Landscape will erase your aphids and anything else that may be devouring your landscape.
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