Characteristics of Aphids and Their Ecological Control

Aphids form a very broad group of insects. They belong to the order Hemiptera, suborder Homoptera (cicadalas, aphids, white flies and woodlice).

The aphid can have black, yellow, green, orange, etc. with an approximate size of 1 to 6 mm, we can see it with the naked eye, and are found mainly in warm areas and with little humidity, being its moment of greatest activity Spring and summer. Also the land with excess fertilizers favors its propagation.

The aphid is one of the most common pests. They form colonies and feed on the sap of the plants. The symptoms of a parasitized plant are: deformations, decay, dents in leaves and flowers, but also by the molasses that escretan attract the ants that causes the black fungus to develop, they are also transporters of viruses, slow down or slow down the development of the plant and its fruits, may even dry the plant.

Aphids have different life cycles depending on the host plant: there are the monoecious species, which only live in one plant and the heteroecias, which live in several plants depending on the season of the year. Regarding its reproduction, there are two types: viviparous aphids and oviparous, their colonies being very prolific in short periods of time.

Therefore, it is essential to have controlled the crops and identify, in the early stages, the presence of aphids. The place to be examined will be the underside of the leaves, especially the new leaves and tender shoots, which are your favorite. We can also be alert of the symptoms that the plant may present, such as rolled and sticky leaves, bold, yellow or green spots and the presence of ants, etc.

So do not forget to carry out crop rotation every year, plant some aphid-repelling plants such as lavender, nasturtiums, honeysuckle or nettle. Here you can see more combinations.

To control the plague of the aphid we can take advantage of the presence of its natural enemies, or auxiliary fauna:

Species of the genus Aphidius

Larvae and adults of neuroptera

Coccinellid Beetle

Dipterous Larvae

Some Hymenoptera are also predators of the aphid

What else can we do to combat the aphid?

1. Soapy water is a good ecological remedy to combat them: spray the affected plants with a spoonful of neutral liquid soap diluted in a liter of water.

2. Boil two cups of water with the peel of an orange. Let it stand for 24 hours, strain and add white soap, quantities 50/50 and spray on affected plants.

3. With onions: we will need 2 large onions per liter of water, boil 10 minutes, let cool, strain and ready to use.

4. Garlic gives us two possibilities: we plant it near the plants, cut in halves or whole (this helps us to prevent and fight the pest) and we can also prepare a water to spray the plants, we boil 8 medium garlic cloves in One liter of water for 20 minutes, let it rest 24 hours before using it.

5. Nettle: we let macerate 100 g of leaves in water for 15 days, we move the mixture every day, we strain and ready to use. This also strengthens plants and makes them more resistant to pests and diseases. Here you can see more.

6. Tomato leaves: we boil them for 15 minutes and let stand overnight. We colamos and pulverize on the plants.

7. Absinthe: macerate 300 grams per liter of water for a week. We strain and spray on the affected plants.

8. The horsetail is highly recommended to strengthen the plant, apply it in the spring to face the summer, or after having passed a plague for the recovery of the plant.

To prevent pests it is essential to keep the garden in good condition, and if we see leaves or fruits in poor condition it is best to throw them away immediately.

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