Aphids

Class: Insects

Common Name

Aphids, greenflies, blackflies, and plant lice

Scientific name

There are thousands of different species, several hundreds of which are a major threat to plants and cultural crops. A few examples include: Myzus persicae (Green peach aphid), Brevicoryne brassica (cabbage aphid), Macrosiphum rose, and Pemphigus populivenae.

Potential Hosts

Apple, beans, beet, cabbage, peppers, corn, basil, eggplants, mint, cucumbers, zucchini, potatoes, roses, peas, citrus, mango, peach, pumpkin, melons, and watermelons

Who am I?

Aphids are small polyphagous (0.5-5 mm), sap sucking insects that come in various colors and shapes. Most aphids don’t have wings, but the ones that do range in colors from black, green, pink, yellow, etc. Aphids are one of the most widely distributed pests in the world.

Feeding can cause stunting and plant/leaf deformities such as curling, while honeydew secretions are a "fertile ground" and a major contributor for the development of sooty mold fungi that in turn can lead to a decrease in photosynthesis.

Aphids are a major vector for dozens of viruses. That alone is enough to put aphids at the top of the most globally, economically hazardous list for commercial crops.

Control measures

Cultural

The sooner the better: It’s easier and more cost effective to overcome infestation and successfully eliminate aphids during the initial stage of infestation. Make a routine of monitoring the field regularly and search plants for the presence of aphids on a weekly basis.

Sanitation: Keep your crop’s close surroundings and environmental conditions neat by removing weeds and close by plants that are non-cultivated or protected, which can attract aphids.

Growing inside structures: The most effective way to protect your crop from aphids is simply (but costly) growing them inside a greenhouse or a net structure.

Conventional (chemical)

Apply (1 iteration) an imidacloprid-based product via irrigation or spray can, in most cases, completely eradicating aphid’s infestation. Other applications of insecticides (molecules\active ingredient names) given by spray are: Flonicamid, imidacloprid, pymetrozine, thiamethoxam, sulfoxaflor, acetamiprid, chlorpyrifos, cypermethrin, bifenthrin

Organic

Spray-able products containing one or more of the following molecules: Azadirachtin, neem oil, pyrethrins, potassium salt of fatty acids

Biological

Mycoinsecticid, a type of bio-insecticide, is commercially spray-able unique fungi that possess the capability to ''fight'' insects.

Most commercially available products will incorporate one or more fungi, such as Beauveria bassiana, Metarhizium anisopliae, Beauveria brongniartii, Isaria fumosorosea, Isaria farinosus, Lecanicillium longisporum, and Lecanicillium muscarium.

Commercially-available beneficial insects such as parasitoid wasp aphidius colemani are regularly used in IPM (integrated pest management).

Caution and careful notice should be taken when using any plant protection products (insecticides, fungicides and Herbicides). It is the grower’s sole responsibility to keep track after the legal uses and permissions with respect to the laws in their country and destination markets. Always read the Instructions written on the label and in any case of contradiction work with accordance to the product label. Keep in mind that information written on the label usually apply only to local markets. Pests control products intended for organic farming are generally considered to be less effective in comparison to conventional product. And so one must keep in mind that when dealing with organic, biologic and, to some extent, small number of conventional chemical products, a complete eradication of a pest or a disease will often require several iterations of a specific treatment or combination of treatments.

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