If you have ever planted a vegetable garden, then you have also probably experienced the annoying pest the aphid trying to destroy that very garden. Aphids are a major pain to any gardener. They feed on just about every type of plant you can think of. They have small, soft bodies and use their slender mouth parts to pierce stems, leaves, and other parts of a plant so that they can suck out the fluids. A large population of these pests in your garden can cause leaves to become curled and yellow and stunt the roots’ growth. They also leave behind a stick honeydew that attracts other insects both harmful and beneficial.
To prevent a mass infestation of aphids you want to check your plants at least twice a week for their presence. Catching them before they cause too much damage can save your garden. Once you start seeing signs of damage on your plants the pests are much more difficult to control. Pay close attention to the upwind edge of your garden and under leaves. Look for the natural predators of aphids such as lady beetles and lacewings. If you can catch them, the best way to stop the damage is to get rid of the leaves or new shoots on which they are clustered. It’s also a good idea to grow your plants under some kind of protective cover, especially in the seedling stage. Finally, you can use insecticide soap, but make sure you apply it thoroughly to all sides of the leaves an stems.
Have you ever had to deal with an aphid infestation? How did you deal with them?
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