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  • Aphids - (Aphis spp.)

    Aphids - (Aphis spp.)

    Aphids may seem too small to bother with, but many of these small insects can together become a mighty destructive plant foe.

    Picture of Aphids

    Staff Writer (5/17/2017): Tiny and light, lime-green in color, these insects suck the juice of plants to the point where the plants dehydrate and possibly die. They are a popular nemesis to gardeners and farmers when they form large colonies on vegetation. Some species of lady beetles and wasps eat them, however, some aphids are toxic to eat giving them an effective defense mechanism against predators.

    Aphids suck on the juice of a plant through its leaves and stems. They then digest these plant juices and excrete a sticky, sugary 'honeydew' which may attract other garden insects like ants.

    Small populations are generally not a major problem for gardeners,however, they are really fast at reproducing and large populations can take over a crop if not controlled. Many gardeners buy containers of live lady beetles (ladybugs) to spread over their garden in an attempt to curb population growth of aphids. Recognizing and allowing fire beetles and parasitic wasps to visit the infested plants can also aid in reducing aphid numbers and damage. Chemical pesticides that specifically kill aphids also exist, but will likely require multiple applications. Female aphids are mostly wingless, but winged ones will return to their original plant after starting populations elsewhere. They can be mechanically removes (killed by hand) but their small size and fast escapes make it a inefficient means of removing them.

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    Details of the:

    Category: True Bug
    Common name: Aphids
    Scientific Name: Aphis spp.

      Kingdom: Animalia
       Phylum: Arthropoda
        Class: Insecta
         Order: Hemiptera
          Family: Aphididae
           Genus: Aphis
            Species: spp.

    Identifying Colors: green; black; yellow

    Additional Descriptors: spikes, tiny, green, white, jump, harmful, flying

    North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming;Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

    * Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.

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