Aphids are very small, pear-shaped soft-bodied insects that commonly infest many garden plants, especially roses and vegetables. Often called “Plant Lice”, they range from less than 1/8 to ¼ inch long. They come in many colors, but green, black and yellow are common. All Aphids have a tube, or cornicle, that extends from the back of their body.
Aphids over winter on plant parts ; they hatch in the spring, where they can live in large clusters, especially on new growth
Aphids suck the juices out of new shoots, buds and leaves. They cause new growth to be curled, stunted or puckered. Leaves can turn yellow and drop. Aphids produce honeydew, a sweet, sticky substance that hosts black sooty mold and attracts ants. If you miss the pests clustered along new growth, you may see black mold or ants racing up and down stems. The ants feed on the honeydew and in return protect the aphids from beneficial insects and may actually introduce new pests to uninfested plants. Consequently, controlling the aphids can only be achieved by also controlling the ants or excluding them from plants with barriers or sprays.
Aphids damage plants by feeding on the sap found in new plant growth and can also carry disease from one plant to another.
Aphids are found throughout the United States, and are most damaging in the spring and summer.
A heavy spray of water from a hose can remove Aphids from plant leaves.
Heavily infested plant parts should be pruned and destroyed.
Avoid over fertilizing.