Aphids - a thunderstorm of gardens
Often in summer cottages, aphids damage many trees and bushes, thereby causing irreparable damage to gardeners. This small insect harms not only a garden plant, but also an indoor one. You can see it even with the naked eye. Vegetable, fruit, berry and flower crops are damaged by various types of aphids. Often, many gardeners do not know how to heal already diseased plants. Let's see what kind of insect this aphid is, and how to deal with it?
- Description of aphids
- Reproduction and aerial migration of aphids
- Harm from aphids
- External signs of damage
- Aphid Prevention
- Ways to fight aphids
Description of aphids
Aphids (Aphididae) - these are insects of the order of Hemoptera (Hemiptera) from 0.5 to 2 mm in size. The body is ovoid, soft and easily crushed, the legs are long, but insects move slowly. There are wingless and winged individuals.
A wingless female of oblong-oval shape, the oral apparatus is long, thickened in front. Winged insects have two pairs of wings, they fly and infect other plants. The rapid reproduction of aphids is explained by the fact that a single fertilization is sufficient for a wingless female to produce up to 150 larvae 10–20 times every two weeks.
Adult aphid is a small insect of green or black color. In mid-summer, some of the individuals grow wings. Thus, pests travel long distances to find new sources of food. Aphids live on buds, stems and the underside of leaves, on the tops of young shoots, giving preference to fattening branches (tops).
Aphids are an exceptionally large group of insects. According to the most conservative estimates, it brings together about 4,000 species, of which nearly a thousand live in Europe. Every year more and more new species are described.
Reproduction and aerial migration of aphids
Aphids lay eggs, some species have a live birth. Most species of aphids breed for several generations through parthenogenesis. A certain generation is born winged and heterosexual. In species that change hosts, this occurs before a new plant is populated or when the colony grows too fast and the overpopulation is associated with it. Winged individuals are able to travel long distances and create new colonies in new places.
According to new studies, the birth of winged aphids can also be caused by special aromatic substances that are secreted by aphids when they are attacked by enemies, such as ladybugs. These precautionary substances in the colony cause great concern and increased movement. This creates the effect of overpopulation, which causes the rapid production of winged offspring.
Harm from aphids
The damage caused to plants by aphids, many underestimate, but in vain. Aphids suck plant juice from stems and leaves, buds and buds. In the affected plant, the leaves curl, the buds and shoots are deformed, the growth slows down, the fruits do not ripen. An affected weakened plant may not survive the winter. In addition to direct damage, aphids carry viral diseases, black soot fungus (black soot dew) settles on sugary secretions of aphids.
Aphids pierce the integument of the plant and suck out the juice. In places of mass bites, tissues are deformed and then die. Flowers on affected peduncles do not develop, fade, barely opened. The peduncle itself quickly fades. Aphids, like mealybugs, rootworms, whiteflies, cicadas, shitkov, false shields, suck out much more juice from the plant than they need to maintain vitality.
Excess moisture and carbohydrates are excreted from the body by aphids in the form of sugary secretions called pad or honeydew. This sticky sweet liquid covers the plant, making it difficult to breathe. The pad is a good substrate for the development of various fungi. Sooty fungi, for example, can cover the leaf with a continuous layer, reducing the intensity of photosynthesis, which inhibits the already weakened plants.
External signs of damage
Along with clearly visible insects to the naked eye, aphids are affected by deformed tops of shoots, twisted leaves, as well as sweet secretions (honey dew) on the leaves and shoots. Subsequently, soot fungus settles on these secretions. If you see ants running around the plant, be sure to check for aphids. Typically, ants are attracted to honey dew, which aphids emit.
Aphids are characterized by symbiosis with ants. Some ants protect ("graze") aphids and receive sugar-containing secretions in return.
Aphids live in large groups on the underside of leaves, around growth points, on young shoots, buds, pedicels, feeding on plant juices. They are dangerous because they weaken the plant, reduce its resistance to diseases, and can also be carriers of viral diseases.
In damaged plants, the leaves curl and turn yellow, form nodules, buds do not develop or give ugly flowers. On mature leaves, a sticky coating appears in which the fungus can settle. Particularly affected by aphids are roses, carnations, fuchsias, and many aroid, forcible bulbous crops.
Many aphid species can spread plant diseases in the form of viruses and cause various anomalies in plants, such as galls and gall-like formations.
Aphids can settle on almost any garden and indoor plants, it is important not to miss the moment and start the fight on time. Especially attractive for green aphids are fruit trees and shrubs, roses, chrysanthemums, and many indoor plants. For black - legumes, garden cornflower, etc.
Carefully inspect all new plants brought into the house or bought for the garden, as well as bouquets of fresh flowers - they may already be aphid. If an enemy is found, take urgent measures to combat it, otherwise it will occupy your plants and the struggle will require disproportionately large efforts from you.
If we are talking about aphids in the garden: plant umbrella plants - carrots, dill, fennel, parsley and others. Thus, you will bring to the garden the tireless aphid eaters - ghosts. Arrange flower pots with wood shavings in the garden - earwigs can also settle in them, as well as large aphid lovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Attract birds to the garden - arrange feeders for them, birdhouses, do not bury the nests found in the garden, birds eat aphids in large quantities.
Lavender planted in the rose garden will scare away green aphids.
Thyme (savory), sown next to legumes, will protect them from black aphids.
Sow nasturtium in the near-stem circle of cherries - it will attract black aphids, reducing the load on the tree, and it is easier to fight aphids on nasturtium than on a tree.
Do not abuse chemicals without special need - together with pests you destroy their enemies: gulls, earwigs, ladybugs, lacewings, riders, ground beetles and predatory bugs.
A balanced feeding of plants is very important - aphids prefer plants that are overfed or weak from a lack of nutrients. In addition to proper nutrition, a strong healthy plant needs the right choice of location, a sufficient amount of light and water, good air circulation - all this is also a pest prevention. It is important to loosen the soil under the plants, and it is better to mulch.
Attention! The site published a new detailed material: Aphids. How to deal with the worst pest?
Ways to fight aphids
Aphids are quite easily destroyed by insecticides. Aphid insecticides are divided into contact, intestinal and systemic drugs.
Contact action drugs penetrate the surface of the body of the insect and kill it. An example of such drugs is the drug Fufanon (Karbofos).
Intestinal drugs enter the digestive system of the insect, causing poisoning and death.
Often produce combined preparations of contact-intestinal action: Akarin, Actellik, Bankol.
Systemic drugs penetrate into all cells of the plant, including the fruits, and are contained in it from 2 to 4 weeks, are not washed off by rain and when watering. Systemic drugs have the longest waiting period, are convenient to use, but the most dangerous. Use them carefully. The most modern systemic drugs: Aktara, Biotlin, Tanrek.
Folk remedies against aphids
Decoctions and infusions of herbs against aphids
Decoctions from herbs and crops, for example, from thyroid, wormwood, tansy, tobacco dust, yarrow, bitter pepper, dandelion, garlic, onions, tomato tops, potato tops, mustard, rhubarb (from black aphids), are effective. 2-3-fold treatments with an interval of 7-10 days are required.
An infusion of garlic or onion is quite suitable: 30 grams of chopped garlic (onion) and 4 grams of laundry soap pour a liter of water. And if you water a houseplant with a liter of warm water, in which you dissolve 80 grams of sodium chloride, then you can get rid of aphids and ticks. Spraying and watering should be carried out at least three times with a break of 10 days.
You can use the infusion of onion husks, tomato leaves. Processing should be repeated 3 times with an interval of 8-10 days. With a strong infection by aphids, small plants can be lowered into this solution, after covering the ground. You can also put fragrant pelargonium near the plant affected by aphids for 2-3 days, and the aphids will disappear.
Malicious insects are negatively related to the hot pepper infusion. 100 g of fresh fruit is poured with water and boiled for at least an hour in a liter closed container. Then they insist for two days, rub the pepper, and filter the solution. For spraying, the concentrate is diluted ten times with water, a tablespoon of soap powder is added there.
Abundant watering with liquid fertilizer from nettles sometimes allows you to banish aphids in a few days. Plants quickly absorb this nourishing, firming mixture and therefore, after a short time become more resistant to pests.
Celandine collected during flowering (take the whole plant). 300-400 g of fresh or 100 g of dry ground mass must be infused in 1 liter of water for 24-36 hours or boiled for 30 minutes. It also helps from false shields and thrips.
Medicinal dandelion (300 g of crushed roots or 400 g of fresh leaves, insist 1-2 hours in 10 l of warm water (not higher than 40 degrees), filter and spray.
Taghetis (marigolds) at the time of flowering (fill 1/2 bucket with dry raw materials, pour 10 liters of warm water, insist 2 days, filter and add 40 g of soap).
Other decoctions and infusions
Pour 100 g of dried citrus peels with 1 liter of warm water and leave for three days in a warm place. Then spray.
Tobacco, shag. 40 g of dry raw materials are insisted in 1 liter of water for 2 days, filtered and another liter of water is added.
Also, when aphids appear, the plant is sprayed with a solution of tar soap (10 g per liter of water) or a settled and filtered broth of wood ash, prepared as follows: 300 g of sifted ash is poured with boiling water and put on fire for 30 minutes. Before use, add 10 liters of water.
Wood ash. 2 glasses of ash insist in 10 liters. water, add 50 gr. shavings of laundry soap.
If all a few aphids have appeared on the plant, remove them with a moist cotton swab.
Of course, at first glance, it seems that it is impossible to exterminate these "small parasites" by looking at the plants aphids that have been corroded, hands will immediately drop, but do not despair so early! For example, my grandmother fights aphids exclusively with folk methods and I want to say they work!