Aphids

Aphids are plant sucking insects, plant lice. They are relatively closely related to whiteflies and soft scales, armoured scales and mealybugs. Aphids may often be found in the top of plants, on leaf- or flower buds. They produce large quantities of honeydew, which is a characteristic feature associated with presence of aphids. They may also be recognized by the presence of small whitish empty skins, the moulting skins of the aphids. These skins remain after aphid instars have grown to another instar. It is dead material.

There are many aphid species, among them a serious number of plant damaging ones. You may encounter them indoors at home, in a greenhouse but also outdoors in the garden or on urban trees in the park. Some species occur indoors as well as outdoors but in general aphids on trees and shrubs outdoors are different types than the ones you find indoors. Aphid species may look rather different; some of them are green, others red, yellow or black. Size may also differ considerably among species. Aphids may reproduce themselves very fast into bigger colonies, thus causing damage to their host plants: discoloration and curling of leaves, honeydew and sooty mold make plants dirty, stunted growth of plant tips. Aphids are also feared for transfer of plant viruses.

Aphids are plant sucking insects. They pierce plant tissue with their stylet. Infested leaves may fall off. Growth of the plant is inhibited and harvest is reduced. The plant sucking behaviour may cause an allergic reaction in the plant, resulting in malformation. Excess of sugar that aphid consume from the plants is excreted as the sticky honeydew.

Aphids may be differentiated according to characteristics such as body colour, body shape, colour of legs / antennae, shape and colour of siphons on their back and shape and lengths of their cauda (tail).

Outdoors aphids may be present on trees, shrubs, hedges. Especially on trees along avenues they can cause serious nuisance. It usually concerns specific species (they infest just one type of tree) such as lime aphid and common sycamore aphid.

Aphid characteristics:

  • large colonies
  • winged as well as wingless morphs may occur
  • very rapid population growth
  • viviparous
  • mostly on underside of leaves
  • large variation in colour and size

Aphid damage:

  • lots of honeydew
  • stunted plant growth
  • malformation of growing tip
  • sooty mold

Products against aphids:

against potato- and foxglove aphid:

APHIDEND, gallmidge

PROPYLEA, coccinellid

ERVIPAR, parasitoid

APHILIN, parasitoid

APHISCOUT, mix of parasitoids

CHRYSOPA, lacewing


against green peach aphid and tobacco aphid:

APHIPAR, parasitoid

APHIDEND, gallmidge

APHISCOUT, mix of parasitoids

PROPYLEAcoccinellid

CHRYSOPAlacewing


against yellow rose aphid:

ADALIA larvae, coccinellid
CHRYSOPA, lacewing

against wooly apple aphid:

EXOCHOMUS, coccinellid


against lime- and common sycamore aphid:

ADALIA larvae, coccinellid

PROPYLEA or else P14, the 14-spot coccinellid; unique product, especially useful in organic culture