Aphids- The Catastrophe Bringers for Succulents

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The aphids are also popularly known as plant louse insects that are tiny in size. Most of them have a tube-like projection on their abdomen. These insects can severely damage your plants and succulents, hampering their growth by transmitting diseases, and also lead to the deformation of leaves and loss of pigmentation.

They are pests that have a soft body, and are generally pale green but also are yellow, pink, or even black. However, they do not fly but, crawl over your plant and feed on it. Sometimes, you may notice them with wings also known as white aphids, if your succulent has a deeper infestation. It is found that aphids on plants also transmit diseases to other plants when they grow densely in one succulent. 

It causes more damage to plants when they transmit infection and viruses from one plant to another on migration. They feed on the sap present in the stem and prefer feeding on new plants. Even a light infestation can make your succulent houseplants shrink and turn weak.

However, if you do not treat the infestation, it will become more problematic for you to remove these aphids as they lay eggs. It will also end up killing your plant. Apart from the damage they do to the succulents, they leave sticky remains known as honeydew. This residue is the reason for the relationship between aphids and ants, as ants get attracted by honeydew. The honeydew might also develop an infection that is generally known as sooty mold. It blocks sunlight light and hinders photosynthesis.

This blog will help you understand how they make a home in your plants. Also, do not worry because we will help you with how to prevent aphids or remove them entirely.

Life Cycle

Studying the life cycle of an aphid can be troublesome and confusing. The females have no wings, and they are called stem mothers, and these female aphids reproduce without the process of mating, for the entire summer season. The stem mothers lay eggs or give birth to young ones and, they eventually grow in the whole plant. After this occurs, some young ones turn into adults and migrate to nearby plants, making a home in them; this is the major summary of aphid’s life cycle.

During the summer season, they give birth to male and female off-springs. Initially, they mate, and then the stem mother lays her eggs that survive in the winter. The eggs are laid in warm seasons as it is a preferable season for giving birth.

The white woolly-ball look of several aphids is the outcome of wax-gland excretion. Preventing these insects by natural bugs like the ladybird, beetles, and lacewings is the best method. Yet, when they are in larger numbers on your plant, you must kill them with insecticidal soaps, pesticides, and insecticides.

For more information, check this video:

It will give you a better understanding and knowledge about aphids life cycle.

Aphids on rose plant

They are your main suspects; if your rosebuds are wrinkled and curly baby leaves come on your roses. On looking closely, you will find tiny soft-bodied insects that are green and pink in color. They are the pests feeding on the new growth.

Aphids cause damage by penetrating the plant tissue of your rose. Later they start feeding on the essential juices in your plants. Mostly these pests keep targeting stems that are soft and delicate. Ensure that you remove them or the roses that look disappointing the next day.

Some aphids are fine, but their large number can be a severe problem as they multiply fast, and this is because they can grow without mating. The adult female gives birth to multiple generations of young ones that turn adults in just a week. Take precautionary measures immediately as they can quickly spread the infection to other healthy plants. And the honeydew residue that they leave does not cause infection only but attracts ants and pests to the plant. So, if your rose plant has an infection, you must learn how to get rid of aphids.

  • If the infestation is light, you can pick out the rose with your hand and squeeze it. A quick beating of the bloom to the ground will also knock them out with ease. Also, another way of removing a few aphids is a water sprayer.
  • Spray the infected area well and, they will get washed off. The water should have proper pressure so that it destroys them and not the plant. That will help in keeping them away from your plants for a long time.
Get rid of Aphids
  • They love to feed on nitrogen, so another way is to limit putting nitrogen-rich fertilizers in the plant. If you lower the nitrogen content in your plant’s soil, you will observe that they will make a way out of it. However, some pesticides and insecticides work great in removing them from your plant and help you in your task of chemical control of aphids.

Woolly aphids

There are different types of these pests; one such type is woolly aphids. These aphids on plants are mostly recognizable due to a cottony structure on the branches and stems. They are purple and have a cottony tread-like secretion around them. 

The Woolly apple aphid is an insect that weakens the tree by sucking on stems and roots. The name is woolly because of its cottony appearance. The strands that they produce over time help in protecting them from insecticides and sprays.

Woolly Aphids

The woolly apple aphids are an insect that affects young apple trees. You will see a gathering of cotton-like secretions on the stems, branches, and other parts of the plant. Trimming and hail injury can make way for the pest to attack the plant. 

The Egg-laying injuries by the periodical cicada are idyllic areas for infestation. As the number grows, they grow on water shoots in the center of the tree. Then the trees start swelling and forming galls at the infection sites.

Slowly after the population grows on the upper part of the tree, they start spreading to the roots. The feeding on roots creates the most damage. However, young trees suffer more in comparison to mature trees as they are delicate and new. Once they attack the roots, controlling them can be difficult.

The main sign of knowing your plant has woolly aphids infestation is noticing yellow foliage. If the infestation gets severe, it can damage the roots and kill the tree. When trees have caught an infection, you will notice it there. Galls form on the roots, and they swell up from year to year. 

Take care of them well as they are the source of delivering nutrients to the tree. If they have an infection, it becomes difficult to restore health to the tree. A tree that has above-ground infestation is treatable but takes care of the roots. The roots swell up and form galls on the infestation. You can use the B9, M9, M26, and the P series if you find any infestation on the roots of your tree, and must find more ways how to get rid of aphids.

Ways to get rid of them:

Cluster of woolly aphids
  • You can locate the formation of clusters on your plant; examine the close clusters to know if live ones exist on the plant. To recognize infestation by woolly aphids, examine the scars on the branches of the tree.
  • The lady beetles, lacewing larvae, and hoverfly larvae can entirely kill the aphids, but the honeydew will remain. So, when you are examining them, blow the branches with pressure to eradicate any waxy residue. Treat the plant when you notice 10% infestation so that later it does not get tough.

Aphids on milkweeds

If your milkweeds have a severe infestation because of aphids the, best way to eradicate them is physical. Their large numbers on the milkweed may look bad a might also make you worry. But not all are causing harm to monarchs; unless there is a dense population of them. They will not be able to kill your milkweeds until they are more in number.

How to get rid of them:

  • You can squeeze them and then wash the plants with water to remove them from your milkweeds. Ensure that you check for caterpillars and eggs because using this method.
Aphids on milkweed
  • Mix mild dish soap with water and spray this solution to kill aphids on your milkweed plants. Applying this solution directly to the aphids efficiently kills the pests. Wash the plants a day after treating them with this insecticidal solution to eradicate any remains of dead aphids. This technique only works when you directly spray it on the insects.

This video will help you avoid aphids for happy gardening!

Final Thoughts

After reading this blog, you will have a better understanding; feel confident and take precautions to prevent these pests from killing your healthy succulents or plants. Now you can take care of your garden with these measures and become a successful gardener. To know more about gardening and taking care of succulents, you can check other blogs for more tips.