What is aphids on plants is a query a lot of plant owners are interested in. Aphids are widespread pests that attack various types of outdoor and indoor plants.Aphids on Plants

This article will discuss these pests and their infestation in detail. Read to learn some fantastic home remedies that help in aphid control.

What Does Aphids on Plants Mean?

Aphids on plants means an infestation of houseplants by aphids, which are soft-bodied pests that feed on the plant’s sap and cause it to weaken and eventually perish. Moreover, the affected plant will start showing drooping of leaves along with other symptoms.

Aphids are among the most common pests impacting houseplants in different parts of the world. They are also known as plant louse, ant cow, or greenfly and are the size of a pinhead. They are soft-bodies pests and suck on nutritional sap after puncturing the plant’s surface. As they aim to damage the plants they begin to weaken them and also by transmitting plant viruses.

The most common species to look out for are the woolly aphids, green peach aphids, and apple aphids. Aphids produce long-term infestations in host plants lasting several years unless treated.

– Life Cycle of Aphids

The life cycle of aphids comprises two different phases over the course of the year. The first phase is the asexual one which begins in spring, with the eggs hatching in the previous year.

This leads to the production of wingless female nymphs that give birth to young aphids through parthenogenesis. You must also keep in mind that these pests will grow and thrive in the long run as they would attack your plant, grow and develop around them, and lastly, weaken your plant as they infest further.

After several generations of asexual birth, some aphids transform into winged ones. This marks the beginning of the second sexual phase of their life. They fly off to newer plants and differentiate into males and females. Right before winter, these males and females mate and lay eggs that will then hatch in the next spring.

What Are the Signs That There Are Aphids on Plants?

Signs that there are aphids on plants include yellowing of leaves, stopping of growth, and the appearance of white spots all over the plant. In addition, you will also see a sticky substance called honeydew that will coat the surface of the plant and attract black sooty mold.

– Yellowing of the Leaves

Attack by any aphid variety, like the white aphids, often goes unnoticed for a long time. The reason is their tiny size and the tendency to hide under stem sheaths, and they will be absorbing the nutrients of the sap.Yellowing of the Leaves

These bugs multiply a lot in a short period and eventually begin to eat all of the plant’s nutrition-filled sap. The result is that the plant starts showing symptoms of malnutrition, like the yellowing of leaves.

– Growth Becomes Slow or Stops

When a pest attack worsens, the attacked plant begins to suffer from malnutrition. Its growth is slowed as compared to other similar plants. You will notice that it has begun to produce fewer leaves, and those are also smaller in size. The yield of flowering plants that year will also be quite disappointing compared to previous years.

– Secretion of Sticky Honeydew

Aphids love to feed on the nutrition-rich sap flowing through the plants. They also love secreting their digestive products back on the plant in a sticky gel-like form called honeydew. A plant under attack by aphids will be covered in honeydew from top to bottom.

Not only is honeydew easy to spot, but you can feel it as well. It will attract other bugs like beetles, bees, and ants to the plant. It also traps dirt and mold on the plant, which is a potentially harmful consequence.

– White Spots Appear All Over the Leaves

White dots will appear all over the leaves during an acute attack of green aphids on plants. If you wipe a piece of cotton over them, you will notice that they are easy to wipe off. However, it will make your plant grow in stressful conditions, and thihs is why you must be

These are actually the exoskeletons of aphid nymphs shed as they mature into adults. Each wingless nymph undergoes four stages of development and sheds an exoskeleton during each stage.

– Plant Viruses Attack

The severest aphid damage caused to plants is through the transmission of plant viruses. These bugs are carriers a significant number of potentially fatal plant viruses like the mosaic virus.Plant Viruses Attack

The worst thing about these viruses is that they are untreatable and will almost always kill the plant. This can be because they may have been impacted by the virus and it is quite easy for them to contaminate your houseplant, vegetation, or even the garden plants that you have cultivated.

How to Get Rid of Aphids on Plants?

To get rid of aphids on plants, separate the host plant from its neighbors. Take it someplace you can give it a good wash using soapy water. After the water has dried, use any good pesticide of your choice on a weekly basis until the bugs are gone.

– Isolate Infested Plants

The first thing you need to do is to isolate the infested plant away from all the other plants. This is especially true if the infestation occurs late into the summer season.

You must do so when young aphids transform into winged ones and fly off to neighboring plants. However, keep in mind that if you don’t separate this one plant, you will soon have many more plants under aphid attack.

– Wash With Soap and Water

Most of the adult population of aphids can be eliminated by giving the plant a good wash. You can use a stream of water with pressure to push them off the plant.

Otherwise, you may go ahead and mix some water with insecticidal soap to thoroughly bath the plant. Then, you should take a toothbrush and scrub the undersides of the leaves while washing to remove as many eggs as possible so that you would tackle them directly.

– Use Pesticide

Once you have washed your plant and gotten rid of most adults, start a weekly insecticidal spray regime. Unless the infestation is particularly severe, we urge our readers to go for natural options like neem oil, and baking soda or even use a vinegar solution for this. Moreover, you may opt to make your own DIY pesticide sprays at home and use them every week until all the aphids on plants are gone.

– Go For Biological Control

If you don’t want to use harsh insecticides on your plants or spray natural ones repeatedly, this is a much better option. There are certain beneficial insects like ladybugs, hoverflies, and green lacewings that are the natural enemies of aphids. They feed on soft-bodies pests like aphids and will help you get rid of them.Beneficial Insects in Garden

Certain pests, like wild birds, spiders, and ladybugs, like to eat winged and wingless adult nymphs. You can try to breed them with ease; for instance, if you breed some ladybugs, you will see that they will find the aphids to stay further because they have found their food source and this way, the garden will be kept safe.

Other predators like to chew on just eggs and larvae as food. You can easily buy these predators from the market and introduce them to the plants without the risk of further infestation.

– Aphid Repellant Plants

There are certain plants that pests like aphids cannot stand, and in such a case, planting some of these in your lawn will keep aphids away from the other plants. Examples of such plants include fragrant varieties like dill, cilantro, garlic, and onion. The fragrance emanating from this plant messes with the aphid’s sense of smell and disrupts their life cycle.

What Pesticides Help Kill Aphids on Plants?

Pesticides that help kill aphids on plants are horticultural oils like neem or even some vinegar with water. In addition, you can also use some chemical pesticides like pyrethrin, or try to use some insecticides as they work in a faster way.

– Authentic Oil From Neem Plant

Oil extracted from the neem tree plant has so many benefits regarding plant care. This oil is able to treat more than 200 types of bugs that attack houseplants.

For this, note that one way is to use a dropper or a Q-tip on top of adult pests wherever you see them on the plant. This method takes a lot of time and might cause burns on the leaves, and this is why as you prepare the mix, you may try to test on a leaflet and according to the result, you can pick whether you wish to dilute it more, or continue using.

So a better approach is to mix a tiny amount of oil with a large amount of water. Studies show that even one tablespoon of oil diluted in one gallon of water makes a solid pesticide. Just because it is natural does not mean you can use it daily on plants, so in you may go ahead and use it on a weekly basis and see aphids disappear within four to five weeks.

– Systemic Insecticides

Systemic pesticides for pest control are not only practical but safer for the leaves as well. These pesticides are poured directly over the soil around the base of each stem. Over time, the plant absorbs them through the roots, and this way, you would be using them in the correct method.

In other words, these pesticides give your plants the superpower to fight aphids themselves. You need to take care buying from a reputable manufacturer and following the instructions provided on the label to the last dot so that no plant will be harmed,

– Home Use Vinegar

Household vinegar helps control aphids if nothing else is available at the moment. The kitchens usually use vinegar with just a five percent acetic acid concentration. Even this must be diluted before it is safe enough for use on plants because this is a high concentration for plants to handle.Using Vinegar to Control Pest

As a result, you must mix vinegar and water in a balanced ratio and spray lightly on the plants. This solution is also to be streamed at most once or twice weekly. Like all natural means of controlling aphids, this one works slowly over time and requires patience.

– Pyrethrin

Pyrethrin is one of the safest manufactured pesticides in the home and gardening shops. It has all the benefits of a typical chemical pesticide but has fewer side effects. For once, it spares bees, butterflies, and other pollinators while killing aphids and even the mealybugs that can cause potential harm to your garden.

Secondly, it is relatively safe for home use compared to some of the other industrial-grade pesticides on the market, which are also valued as much as organic products are. Do not forget to read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use them during application to get the best results and to avoid harming thee plant.


In this article, we discussed in detail all about aphids, as they are the most common bugs of household plants and vegetables, so here is a small recap:

  • Aphids do not chew on the leaves of the plants; instead, they suck the sugary sap that flows through the vascular symptoms.
  • From spring to summer, aphids can produce more than 15 generations and grow exponentially in numbers.
  • An aphid infestation causes leaf yellowing, stunted growth, and even plant death over time.
  • When using chemical pesticides, protect yourself from exposure as well. Another way is to mix baking soda with clean water and use that.
  • Luckily, there are tons of natural and chemical means of getting rid of aphids pretty quickly.

Our goal in this article is to equip you with the right tools to deal with aphids on plants should the occasion arise, and now you have the best approaches.

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