Ask the ExpertsGetting Rid of AphidsMarch 30, 2020Did you know that there are more than 4,000 kinds of aphids? Most of them are not harmful to plants; in fact only about 250 of them require control. In Texas, ornamental plants are especially susceptible to aphid infestation.Aphids, also referred to as plant lice or green flies, pierce through the plant stems and suck out its nutrient-rich sap. To add insult to injury, aphids typically carry viruses as they feed. They secrete honeydew as they feed, creating a conducive environment for molds. A heavy aphid infestation will cause stunted growth, a decline in overall vigor, and the leaves of the plant to wilt, curl, or turn yellow. No wonder these pesky insects are not popular to homeowners. Here are some tips from Southern Botanical, your Dallas landscaping services provider, on how to identify and control aphids in your lawn.Identifying aphidsWe all have established that aphids spell trouble in the garden, but how do you identify them?Aphids are tiny – about 1/8 inch long. They come in a multitude of colors, yet their soft bodies are typically pear-shaped, oval, spindle-shaped, or globular.Aphids may be yellow, green red, black, or brown in color, depending on its food source and species. A typical aphid is wingless, but they may grow wings too, depending on their environment. They have two antennae on their head and two tube-like structures on their rear.How to eradicate aphidsCheck your plants on a regular basis for aphids. Look for curling, misshapen, yellowing, or stunted leaves. Aphids love to hide in the undersides of leaves; be sure to regularly check there too.Aphid population can be reduced naturally through high wind, heavy rain, and the heat. Sometimes all aphids need is a cold blast of water to dislodge them.If there is a huge aphid infestation, non-chemical methods or insecticides may be needed. It’s best to use non-chemical ways to manage pests – if possible – since the majority of insecticides will destroy the beneficial insects along with the pests.Remember to always contact your Dallas landscaping services provider, especially when dealing with large infestations. Aphid removal is generally simple, however, over-application of methods can do more harm than good.Sources:“Aphid.” Planet Natural Research Center, https://www.planetnatural.com/pest-problem-solver/lawn-pests/aphid-control/. “Water Wands: High Pressure Water Spray Devices for Insect and Mite Control.” Texas A & M Forest Service, https://extensionentomology.tamu.edu/publications/water-wands-high-pressure-water-spray-devices-for-insect-and-mite-control/ .“How to Identify and Get Rid of Aphids.” The Old Farmer’s Almanac, https://www.almanac.com/pest/aphids.