Aphids do not look alarming when there are only a couple hanging out in the garden. More times than not they go unnoticed until a plant is doing very badly. Then the gardener starts running through a mental checklist. Especially for those of us with busy schedules that rely on technology to maintain our gardens throughout the week like automatic irrigation systems. Aphid prevention in your garden makes for a healthy landscape.
Garden Inspection Checklist
If the garden is doing poorly and you are meeting all of the garden criteria listed below. Plants are getting the proper amount of water, light, and feralization. It may be a good time to start looking for other outlying garden or landscape issues.
- Horticultural Choices:
- Did the plants chosen for the garden design fit the garden location conditions were native plants chosen?
- Garden Plant Placement:
- Have the plants been situated in their ideal microclimatic conditions, where factors like sunlight and moisture balance meet planting requirements?
- Irrigation Systems and Plant Watering:
- Is the irrigation system performing optimally, ensuring the plants receive an adequate and consistent water supply?
- Plant Lighting:
- Are the plants getting the right amount of light?
When to Check Gardens and Landscaping for Aphids
If your Northwest Arkansas garden check all of the boxes above. It maybe time to start checking for aphids and other garden pests. The damage garden pests cause if normally noticed before the pest is spotted.
Look closely at your garden, You might find tiny, nearly see-through bugs on the underside of leaves. These are aphids, and they usually go unnoticed until there are many of them. They can come in different colors and have soft bodies with long antennas. Most of them can’t fly, but when there are lots, they grow wings and move to new places, which is not good for your garden.
On close inspection, looking past the plant damage. The mass of small nearly translucent bodies covering the underside of plant leaves can be easy to miss. The little aphids are out of sight on the underside of plant leaves were they are protected from predators and out of mind from gardeners.
A few aphids in the garden are not a problem. The plant’s immune system so to speak will heal the little holes that aphids eat into it when they move on after the sap or honeydew of the plant has dried. It’s when the garden or a more often even just a single plant, commonly rose bushes, become infested with hundreds of the tiny little ¼ inch pests that the problem begins.
There are nearly 4,000 species of aphids in the world. Some have a translucent body other appear to have fur and float through the sky looking like odd little fairy bugs. Some are only attracted to certain plants others have a wider appetite.
Aphids can come in almost any color green, brown, white even pink. They have a soft pear-shaped body with long antennae. Most species of aphids do not generally have wings but when an area becomes overpopulated they can grow them to move to a new location. A gardener’s worst nightmare.
Aphids on Crape Myrtle
Aphids Effect on Plant Health
Most species will be found on the underside of plants’ leaves. This keeps them out of the sun and protected from predators.
A few species like the grey-white root aphid will bury in the soil and attack a plant’s roots.
Constant assault from aphids and them being overpopulated in an area can lead to severe disease and death in plants.
- Leaf curl
- Misshapen leaves
- Yellow leaves
- Fungal growth
- Sooty mold
Aphids can also carry a disease from one plant to another. Aphids are the plant equivalent to ticks and mosquitoes for humans.
They can also attract other unwanted bugs to the garden that prey on aphids. Ladybugs love to eat aphids, and no matter how cute they are I do not want a swarm of ladybugs in my yard any more than the aphids.
Aphid Control and Prevention
Prevention goes a long way when it comes to garden pests. Regularly inspecting plants and not relying too heavily on garden irrigation systems and other time-saving routines can make a difference.
Be sure to inspect all buds, fruit, and flower while paying close attention to the underside of garden and landscape plant leaves.
Companion Gardening is one of 2 J’s & Sons favorite garden and landscape tricks. We know it is not for everyone. But when it comes to low maintenance routines having a balanced garden is a big help.
Plants with certain smells are less appealing and tasty to most aphids. But with so many aphid species it can still be tricky. Most pests don’t have a specific species just for beans, cabbage, melons, potatoes, but aphids do. So here are some of the most common plants to deter and repel aphids.
Landscape Plants To Deter Aphids
- Lavender 2 J’s & Sons top aphid prevention pick
- Catnip 2 J’s & Sons favorite
Some plants are hardier and act as a trap for aphids. These plants will tolerate the abuse and heal themselves quicker. They are also cheaper than other aphid favorites.
Aphid Trap Plants
Other Aphid Prevention Deterrents
Sometimes it may be as simple as using a garden hose to gentle blast the pest off the plant. Often times the aphid will not find its way back to the same plant. For example, roses are an aphid favorite and in many cases the rose bush is the only plant being infested on the property.
There are chemicals on the market for everything. Dust pest control products are a quick and simple way to go. Again we know that not everyone wants unsightly powder spread on their plants for the neighbors to see. If you are willing to use a powder form for the control you may also want to try
Common Household Powder Products For Aphid Control
- Baking Soda
- Epsom Salt
- Diatomaceous Earth
Spray Mixtures you may have on hand
- 1 part white vinegar to 3 parts water
- Rubbing alcohol and water
- Neem oil
- Epsom Salt and water
- Liquid dish soap, cayenne pepper, and very little water
Call 2 J’s & Sons for Aphid Prevention and Landscape Plant Help
If you need help with aphids or other garden pests in Northwest Arkansas or the Neosho Missouri area, you can contact 2 J’s & Sons. We have experience in taking care of landscapes and handling landscape pests. 2 J’s & Sons hopes you have healthy and pest-free landscape all season.
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