Aphids on orange tree is a common pest that could destroy your source of vitamin C. The new shoots, flowers, and nitrogen over fertilization attract these destructive insects to citrus trees.Aphids on Orange Tree

Some ways to eliminate them are by spraying water on the trees, reducing nitrogen fertilization, or applying neem oil. Continue reading this article as our team of gardeners have explained in details the reasons why these pests come and the ways that you tackle them.

Why Do Aphids Attack Orange Trees?

Aphids attack orange trees because it has been fertilized by nitrogen in an excessive way, and they also attack the new shoots and leaves. In addition, they also attack because of the weak and unhealthy growing plants, weeds growing near, being attracted to the flower, and the presence of ants.

There are black aphids on lemon trees due to the presence of young shoots. Citrus aphids are attracted to new and tender leaves because they are easier to prick through to get the sap. While the insects don’t cause significant damage to the tree, a high infestation can weaken the plant. When the infestation is high, you might think your tree has begun getting old since they form a layer that looks oddly old, and this way, you will also see a change in the new citrus leaf.

– Nitrogen Overfertilization

Nitrogen fertilization on orange trees is essential because it improves the quality of fruits produced and increases yield. Unfortunately, the nutrient also attracts sap-sucking insects like aphids.

First, the fertilizer supplies the plants with amino acids, which help with aphid growth and development. In this case, excess nitrogen will provide excess amino acids, meaning there will be increased aphid reproduction and an increase in population, and this way, you will see that they are getting their nutrients straight from the sap and receiving it sufficiently.

Besides, nitrogen increases chlorophyll concentration in leaves. Chlorophyll is the component that absorbs light in the plant, which is used during photosynthesis. Through photosynthesis, the plant converts carbon dioxide to water and energy and uses the energy for growth. Therefore, excess nitrogen supply means constant growth of new leaves, which attract aphids.

– New Shoots and Leaves

Brown citrus aphids and other aphid varieties attack orange plants with new leaves because the foliage are easy to prick through and suck the sap. The new leaves have soft tissues, making it easier for aphids’ weak mouthpieces to feed on the sap of the plant.

So you should remember that the insects also attack the soft tissues in the leaves and stems of new shoots. This is because the foliage is still fresh and easy to be taken a bite out of.

Most gardeners don’t worry about aphid attacks because the insects cause insignificant damage, but a high infestation can destroy the plants. As aphids feed on the sap, they weaken the plants, reducing their defense mechanisms of producing chemicals to fight other citrus pests.

– Weak and Unhealthy Orange Trees

Weak plants are vulnerable to pest attacks, like aphids and scale insects. These plants are attractive because of their soft cells, which are easy to digest. The insects mostly attack the fruit, roots, and stem, disrupting the transportation of minerals, nutrients, and water, which worsens the plant’s condition.

Watering problems, soil problems, or other disease attacks cause plant weakness. For example, underwatered citrus fruits struggle to absorb minerals and essential nutrients from the soil, leading to unhealthy plant growth.

At the same time, overwatering also causes root problems like root rot, which disrupts mineral transportation and absorption of water. What happens now is that the leaves would start to weaken, be filled with rich sap, and lastly, they will have a humid environment as well, and all these would be inviting for them.

– Surroundeed by Weeds and Debris

Aphids hide in many places, including under debris and on the leaves of certain weeds. These weeds are favorite plants to insect pests because they have an attractive sap that they feed on, and their leaves are large enough to provide shelter.Plants Surroundeed by Weeds

The insects also hide under debris, making a suitable habitat because of the cool climate. This is how they would get their nutrients from the tree and hide at the same time. In short, they will see how this place is a good one for them to grow their infestation due to the presence of what they are looking for.

Besides acting as a hiding place for aphids, weeds also contribute to plant weakness. When they grow next to orange trees, they absorb minerals and water from the soil, leaving little nutrients for the source of vitamin C. This weakens the citrus plants making them vulnerable to disease and insect attacks, and they can grow in such a simple way.

– Presence of Flowers

Did you know that bugs are also attracted to flowers like humans? Orange tree flowers are beautiful because of their brightly colored petals and attractive scent, which can cause aphids on indoor lemon trees.

Besides their beauty, flowers produce a sweet liquid that aphids feed on. If your oranges are in the flowering stage, ensure you inspect them to notice an infestation early. You can look for signs of aphid attack by checking for sooty mold or honeydew, which aphids produce while on the plant.

– Presence of Ants

Ants are attracted to the honeydew aphids produce, and so they follow them to feed on the product. And since ladybugs and other beneficial insects attack aphids, ants protect their honeydew producers.

Therefore, as ants search for food, they move along with aphids. Oranges also have a sweet sap which ants like, so they could invite aphids. Besides, since ants protect aphids from beneficial insects, they multiply fast, causing more tree damage.

How To Get Rid of Aphids on Orange Trees?

To get rid of aphids on orange trees, you should first handpick them with your hands, spray some insecticidal soap, and introduce them to natural predators. Then you can try some neem oil on them, use chemical controlling methods, prune the affected parts, avoid overfertilizing and grow aphid-repelling plants.

Most gardeners prefer using natural methods to eliminate aphids on their orange trees because they don’t have side effects on the fruits. You can pick the insects and crush them with your hands, spray them with water, or prune the plants’ most affected areas to prevent the spreading.

You can also use biological control methods like introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs and parasitic wasps. These destroy aphid eggs, and the adult ones eat aphids to control the population. Most last aphid control options are the use of pesticides and other chemicals to control heavy aphid infestations.Get Rid of Aphids on Orange

– Use Your Hands

A small aphid infestation looks harmless, but the insects multiply fast. Picking and crushing the aphids between your fingers is a good and natural black citrus aphid treatment without side effects. Some insects you can destroy are the toxoptera citricida and planococcus citri.

Once you crush these insects, burn them in a garbage bag. The aphids on lemon treatment method don’t have side effects on the tree but remember that you shouldn’t crush the insects between the leaves. This friction hurts the cells, creating open wounds on the tree, which can lead to other infections.

Destroying aphids between your fingers can only be used with small aphid populations. Moreover, you should also be cautious that you dispose of them, because you wouldn’t want to have the risk of having organic debris for other pests or if they don’t die, for the infestation to grow.

– Spray Them with Water

Are you looking for ways how to get rid of aphids without using chemicals, water in a hose pipe is a perfect solution. Set the hose pipe on a high-pressure setting to remove the aphids. Aphids are tiny and weak insects that can be swept away by water, and others will drown in it.

When spraying the plants with water, concentrate on the top and underside of the leaves. You should let the soil dry between the sprays to avoid overwatering your orange plants, which could lead to root rot. Besides removing aphids, the water could remove other destructive orange pests like aonidiella aurantii and phyllocoptruta oleivora.

– Spray Insecticidal Soap

Before considering potent pesticides to remove black bean aphids, spray them with insecticidal soap. The soap is made using water and dish soap, and it kills aphids by drying their top skin and causing dehydration, and this way they will die.Spraying Insecticidal Soap 1

While insecticidal soap doesn’t kill beneficial organisms, it contains chemicals that scorch the leaves. You can protect your plants from soap wounds by rinsing the leaves each time you spray them.

– Introduce Natural Predators

Beneficial insects like ladybugs, dragonflies, and predatory mites control aphid populations by feeding on them. Adult ladybugs feed on the aphids and also lay eggs on aphid colonies. Its hatchlings feed on the tiny aphids reducing population growth.

The mites also feed on other destructive insects like scale insects. This is a good approach if and when the infestation is small and still growing, because it may be a bit time-consuming for the predators to target and feed on them.

A lack of natural predators can lead to a fast aphid population growth. If you don’t have these beneficial insects in your orange gardens, you can buy them from the plant store and keep them in your garden. Ensure you have attractive plants in your garden for mealy birds and ladybugs to keep the insects longer.

– Use Neem Oil

Neem oil kills aphids by covering their outer skin and suffocating them. The oil also covers the leaves and acts as a protective barrier, making them hard to feed on by the insects. Mix the oil with water in a sprayer before spraying it on your plants.

You should spray the oil on the leaves and fruits to kill aphids and prevent them from feeding on the plant parts. Make sure that you have diluted the oil because the oil is strong if it comes on the leaves and blocks the airway.

The oil doesn’t kill aphids instantly, so you must wait for two or more days before seeing a change. You can also reapply the oil after every three days to increase the chances of aphids’ death and migration.

– Use Chemical Control Methods

Most orange farmers avoid using chemical control methods to eliminate aphids because these have side effects. They pollute the soil, the environment and can cause allergic reactions in humans. But pesticides are more effective at controlling aphids on commercial orange farms with a high aphid population.

Choose commercial chemicals that are harmless to humans but toxic to aphids. Besides aphids, these chemicals also eliminate destructive pests like Mediterranean fruit fly. You must also be careful when handling chemicals because some are harsh and could irritate your skin.

To avoid pesticide effects and ensure proper application, farmers should hire professionals to apply the chemicals. In short, you must also be cautious when it comes to knowing how to mix the chemicals in the right proportions and have protective wear to prevent getting into contact with the chemicals.

– Prune The Affected Plant Parts

Sometimes aphid infestation can be too high for complete elimination, and some affect certain tree parts leaving others behind. If you have one orange tree that has become home to aphids, you can prune the affected branches and burn them to reduce the insect population.Pruning Affected Parts of Plants

You can also remove aphid-affected leaves containing their eggs to prevent more hatching. Just make sure that you mark the exact location where they were growing, and then you can remove those leaves or even stems away.

When pruning orange tree branches, use clean tools like knives and scissors. Disinfect the tools to prevent introducing fungal and bacterial infections to the orange tree. Also, use sharp tools to avoid creating unnecessary wounds on the twigs.

– Avoid Overfertilizing

Nitrogen causes the growth of new leaves and shoots, which are attractive to aphids. The insects also reproduce better in areas with high nitrogen levels, so they are likely found in such areas. Overfertilizing orange trees with nitrogen can therefore welcome unwanted pests and insects.

Reducing nitrogen levels in the soil stops constant leaf production, meaning aphids have a low food supply. It also makes an area less conducive for aphid reproduction, so they won’t get attracted to such sites, so make sure that thee fertilizer you use is not strongest when it comes to nitrogen.

– Grow Aphid-Repellent Plants

Aphids like plants’ new shoots, but some don’t attract them. These are primarily strong-scented plants like onions, garlic, and basil. When you grow them in your orange garden, you won’t have aphid problems.

However, you must choose the best orange companion plants to avoid problems of moisture and minerals competition. Also, avoid growing plants with big leaves, like vegetables, near your orange trees. These provide a habitat for insects that easily transfer to the orange plants.


As we come to the end of this article, you are now very well aware of the reasons and thee way that you can tackle this issue. So here is a small recap of what we covered as you see more aphid control methods below:

  • While aphids seem harmless at first, they reproduce fast, and a heavy infestation can lead to plant weakness and stunted growth.
  • Aphids attack orange trees because of high nitrogen concentration, the presence of ants, and due to plant stress.
  • Some ways to eliminate aphids from citric plants are washing them with water, using pesticides, or removing weeds.
  • If you notice a small population of aphids on your orange trees, sweep them off using a paper towel, and squash them between your fingers.
  • High infestations require more effective methods like using chemicals or spraying dish soap on the insects.

Now, you can take the right measures and your orange trees will thrive as they give you a prosperous growth.

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