aphids feeding
mass of aphids
aphids on a rose bud
cluster of aphids on a plant
adult aphids

Aphids are one of the most common insect pests found on garden plants, from vegetables to roses. Each aphid species typically targets members of a single plant family, but multiple species can be at work in one garden. Aphids can reproduce without mating, so their numbers can soar in just a few days. They also feed in very dense masses, making them one of the most destructive of all plant-eating insects.

Aphid Identification

Aphids are soft-bodied, teardrop-shaped pests that come in several colors. Depending on the species, they may be green, yellow-orange, black or reddish pink. They often have a wooly or waxy appearance, and adults typically do not have wings. Unlike similar-looking insects, aphids move slowly when disturbed.

Signs or Damage of Aphids

Aphids damage plants by piercing them with their mouthparts and sucking out the plant juices. They often target tender, young growth, such as soft stems and new leaves or buds. Plants are left wrinkled, curled and puckered, with stunted growth. Another sign of aphid problems is black sooty mold that forms on the sweet "honeydew" aphids excrete as they feed. Aphids can also transmit viruses between plants.

How to Control Aphids

Aphids multiply quickly, especially during times of rapid plant growth, so treat at the first sign of problems. Treat all plants surfaces, upper and lower, thoroughly — and check for aphids hiding in curled, distorted leaves. GardenTech brand offers several highly effective options for treating problem aphids and protecting plants:

  • Sevin Insect Killer Ready to Use2 kills aphids on contact. It's ideal for target spot treatments of aphid masses as well as entire plants. The adjustable nozzle lets you control the width of your spray, so you can avoid open blooms that draw beneficial pollinators.
  • Sevin Insect Killer Concentrate and Ready to Spray provide easy-to-use, economical alternatives for treating larger areas. These powerful liquids kill aphids by contact and keep protecting plants for up to three months.+
  • Sevin Insect Killer Dust Ready to Use starts killing aphids immediately upon contact to protect plants from insect damage. Just sprinkle a thin, uniform layer on lawns, ornamental plants and flowers, and listed edibles.

Aphid Control Tip: Some types of ants feed on aphid honeydew. To keep the supply coming, these ants protect aphids from beneficial predator insects that normally help keep them in check. Treat problem ants along with aphids to nip both problems in the bud.

+Except fire ants and ticks

Always read product labels thoroughly and follow instructions, including guidelines for listed plants and pests, application frequencies and pre-harvest intervals (PHI) for edible crops.

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