If you're like most homeowners, you take great pride in the way your yard looks throughout the year. That's why you maintain your landscaping and look after your garden beds. But no amount of pruning or watering can eliminate your risk of unwanted insects, like aphids, taking over and infesting your plants.
Your Sarasota pest control team wants to help you keep your yard looking great. Here's what you need to know about aphids and what you can do to get rid of them.
What Are Aphids?
Aphids are a type of insect that typically infest garden beds rich in sap, have strong-smelling flowers, or are full of edible produce. These small insects typically grow between 1/16 and 1/8 of an inch when fully mature. Though there are different types of aphids in Sarasota, the most common species are green, black, red, brown, yellow, or gray in color.
If you can get close enough to see the aphids on plants in your yard, you'll notice they have pear-shaped bodies with two cornicles resembling tailpipes on the end of their abdomens.
These insects feed on the sap and juices produced by your plants.
How And Why Aphids Destroy Your Plants
Aphids don't intentionally destroy your plants. They simply feed off them and, as a result, cause damage to your garden. But what types of damage can you expect? Here are a few ways that an aphid infestation can hurt your plants:
- Mold growth: As aphids feed on your plants, they can produce a sooty mold that makes conditions favorable for them to grow and breed. This mold can cause your plants to stop growing as well as they should.
- Curling leaves: It's normal for aphid infestations to cause the leaves of the plants they feed on to curl. Curling happens as they suck moisture out of the leaf, and the plant becomes dehydrated.
- Discoloration: Aphids can also cause leaves to turn yellow, resulting in patchy growth, and can make your garden look sickly.
In small numbers, actively feeding aphids won't cause serious damage to your plants. But if you see aphids underneath the leaves of your plants or on stems of newer shoots, you'll want to schedule a professional home pest control appointment to keep them from spreading and keep your plants healthy.
Tips To Protect Your Plants From Aphid Infestations
Though dealing with an active infestation is key if you want to preserve your garden, it's always best to prevent infestations in the first place. Here are a few proven ways to keep these pests from taking over so your garden can avoid aphid damage.
- Check beneath the leaves, on stems, and around new blooms a few times each month. If you notice any aphids, you'll want to call a professional to deal with the infestation.
- Aphids aren't picky and will feed on any plants they can, including weeds. The more weeds you have, the greater your risk of an aphid infestation. Weed your garden at least once a month.
- You can easily wash aphids off of your plants with a high-pressure sprayer. Wash your plants if you notice any aphids on them.
- Ladybugs happily eat aphids. If you don't already have an active population in your yard, you may be able to buy ladybugs from your local garden center.
These tips can help you prevent aphids from taking over your landscaping.
The Best Way To Get Rid Of Aphids
The best way to get rid of aphids is with professional treatment. If you've noticed aphids in your yard or your garden, don't ignore them. Contact the experts at Westfall's Lawn and Pest today. Our team will treat your yard and help keep aphids from coming back.
"My yard consistently looks great. I find the technician that does the applications knows my lawn like the back of his hand. They are reasonably priced and deliver superior service!"
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