Garden Pests Series: A…

Thoughts and musings

Garden Pests Series: A…

Lewis | March 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

…is for Aphid.

In a new series of Oakleigh Manor blog posts, we will be going through the alphabet, listing 26 garden pests, diseases and species that can affect your garden. Basically, anything that can negate your gardening efforts have been included in this self-compiled list. A number of them are well-known. Some of them you wouldn’t think could be potential threats. A couple may seem outlandish – but come on, you try and find one beginning with the letters ‘J’ and ‘X’! But we managed it, as we think you’ll enjoy it. So without further ado, let’s crack on…

The garden pest featured in this blog post is the aphid. With a Latin name of Aphididae, they can be very prevalent in any garden. A colony of aphids can usually be found in clusters on soft and new growth of a whole host of plants. If you look on the underside of a leaf, for example, you may spot an aphid or two. Usually more than that, too!

You will normally be able to determine a garden pest rather quickly by identifying the plant they are affecting, as some garden pests will attack certain species. However, with aphids, they may attack any plant in your garden. This may be perceived as a blessing in disguise; they may be easy to spot, and therefore they are easier to counteract against. However, during the warmer months of the year aphids have the ability to reproduce at a rate of up to five live young per day. So may you have your work cut out?

Luckily, treatment is very easy, proven, and there are number of different methods you can try. Aphids feed on the sap of a plant, and as such, a possible organic method to avoid aphid attacks is to plant a ‘sacrificial crop’, so that would be the aphids’ focus of attack, instead of your vegetables.

If you want to counteract the aphid population before it becomes overpopulated, you could turn to chemical treatments. However, I recommend environmental-friendly, organic treatment methods. Usually, when an aphid population is at its peak, predatory insect species move in anyway. So allow them to help your garden out, instead of spraying, as you’ll kill them, too!

Even though they can multiply quickly, methods to rid them from your crop, such as introducing ladybird larvae if aphids have infested a greenhouse, are tried and tested, and as a result they don’t tend to pose too much of a problem or threat to your garden plants. You can search online for a comprehensive list of effective treatment methods. If you choose chemical treatment, always remember to read the instructions the chemicals come with, as well as the safety information.

We hope you enjoyed this article, the first of 26! The next in this series will be out soon; what will the letter ‘B’ stand for? Have a guess in the comment section below and see if you’re right!