Aphids Plant lice parasites

What are aphids and how are they fought? Types of aphids and natural, organic remedies and products against aphids or plant lice.


The aphids or aphidoidea, are animal parasites, phytophagous insects very prolific green or black which are commonly called plant lice, belonging to the Rhychota family.


Characteristics and generalities of aphids

The aphids, insects clearly visible to the naked eye, have the rounded body of variable color depending on the species: green, yellow or greyish with or without wings and often produce on the attached plants of the liquid sticky that attracts ants, called molasses.


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Equipped with a pungent and sucking mouthparts, composed of:

  • anteclipeo (a)
  • postclipse (b),
  • upper lip (c),
  • rostrum (d),
  • stilettos (e)

They attack almost all plants for food.

They ravage twigs, leaves and buds suck the lymph and weaken the plant.

There danger of aphids it derives above all from the very high number of generations that they can accomplish in a single year and given that they live in numerous colonies, the number of eggs deposited is impressive.

Plants that are attacked by aphids

Aphids affect almost all plants; arboreal or woody, herbaceous, agricultural and ornamental shrubs.

Arboreal plants (Rosaceae, etc.) are among the favorites of aphids as the wood and bark of these species offer shelter to the fertilized eggs deposited in the cracks and allow adult insects to better resist adverse climatic conditions.

Among the agricultural and ornamental herbaceous plants almost no one finds escape that is grown in pots or directly planted, it makes no difference. It should also be emphasized that the infestations of aphids are also accompanied by those of ants, which protect them as loving baby sitters because they feed on the large quantity of honeydew (sugary substance) produced by the metabolic processes of these insects. A continuous coming and going of ants on all the vegetal parts of the plants is an alarm signal: they are infested with aphids.

Damage caused by aphids

Among the various damages caused by aphid infestations, the most frequent are:

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  • reduction of chlorophyll photosynthesis which occurs with a marked discoloration of the leaves, slowing of growth and reduction of the more or less marked production of flowers or fruits;
  • honeydew stains frequently associated with the formation of fumaggine;
  • deformations of leaves, fruits and flower buds;
  • reduction of energy resources and progressive deterioration;
  • attack by saprophytic and pathogenic fungi, harmful because the development of their mycelium reduces the photosynthetic efficiency of the plant and produces a depreciation of the product.
  • alteration of the anatomical-structural morphology, with the formation of galls, pseudogalle e.
  • wood erosion by xylophagous insects (they feed on living or dead wood);
  • propagation of virosis
  • death of the plant if action is not taken promptly.

Remedies to combat aphid infestations

These almost microscopic insects but very invasive and harmful to all plants must be fought in the bud by implementing appropriate and effective fighting systems.

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Fight against plant aphids with chemical pesticides

There fight chemistry is practiced at the first symptoms of infestation using pyrethrum-based products such as PIRETRIX, or ORTHENE S, CYMBUSH 5L. It is generally carried out in early spring and repeated several times until summer, especially if humid and rainy days alternate with hot days.


Fight ornamental plant aphids

PIRIMOR 17,5 Compo or Gesal Polyvalent KB can also be used on plants not intended for food such as roses and other plants grown for ornamental purposes.


When to intervene and how to use pesticides

The treatments against aphids should be applied for preventive purposes or when you see black spots on the plant, curling of the leaves or you notice a coming and going of ants.

Generally, one intervenes by practicing in the early hours of the morning or after sunset, nebulizations on the whole plant, especially on the apexes and the lower leaves. aficides diluted in water, avoiding air vehicles to avoid damage to beneficial insects and the environment. For dilutions see the instructions attached to the manufacturer’s packaging.


Biological fight with pesticides

The fight against aphids can also be practiced with natural products that are effective and above all harmless for pollinating insects and for the environment, easy to prepare at home at minimal or almost zero cost.

Among the most effective biological pesticides in the fight against aphids, here are those suggested and the related preparation sheet:


Biological fight with antagonistic insects

In the fight against aphids also antagonistic insects such as:

  • entomophages such as the Coccinellida beetles, the chrysopid neuropterans, the hoverflies diptera
  • parasitoids such as braconid and calcidoid hymenoptera and caecidomid dipterans.

Do plant lice attack humans?

Plant lice feed on sap, so they are harmless to humans who are prone to Anoplura lice infestations.

Photo gallery aphids


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