Aphids in your precious plants? Don't freak out!Let's discover their weakness together!
Aphids are small, soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects about 1 millimeter long. They are usually green but can be pink, brown, black or yellow. Some aphids have a woolly or powdery appearance due to a waxy coat. Adults may or may not have wings.
Aphids usually feed on new growth or the undersides of leaves. Some of them even feed on roots! Aphids feed on the elaborate plant sap that circulates in the phloem, resulting from photosynthesis. Phloem sap is a liquid whose composition and nutritional quality vary with the seasons, low in protein, rich in sugars, limited in essential amino acids that cannot be synthesized by animals and almost free of lipids. These are all evolutionary barriers that aphids overcome thanks to symbiotic bacteria. The protein and lipid composition of the sap forces the aphid to ingest a large quantity of it and therefore to reject an abundance of excess sugar in the form of honeydew. This results in yellowing, distorted leaves, growth may be stunted and new buds may even be deformed. That's not all!! This honeydew can become the perfect host for sooty mold fungi, producing unsightly dark spots on plant surfaces.
Prevention, chemical control, biological and mechanical
Prevention In general, keeping your plants healthy will strengthen their resistance to aphids. Also, as a precautionary measure, avoid adding high-nitrogen fertilizer to houseplants and those grown in the garden.
Biological and mechanical
Promote the presence of natural predators of aphids such as the ladybug which is a very effective predator against aphids! The brown lacewing and the green lacewing are two very useful generalist predators in horticulture!