Less than 4 mm long, they have a bulbous abdomen and can take on many different colors. They are among the most destructive pests for plants grown in temperate regions. Winged aphids are particularly dangerous for crops because they destroy plants much faster than regular aphids.
Often, when we talk about aphids or aphids, we are referring to a large family of insects with more than 4,000 species of parasites that attack specific plants.
Several cultivation techniques can prevent or minimize aphid attacks.
From the first all-female winter eggs out wingless (without wings), if space is lacking, aphids will become winged to extend their territory.
A female can live for 25 days, during which time she can generate up to 80 new aphids. Spring and summer breeding is asexual, therefore without male individuals.
Aphids can cause reduced growth rate, mottled leaves, yellowing, slow growth, curled leaves, browning, wilting, weak crops, and plant death.
The extraction of the elaborate sap weakens the plant and causes a metabolic imbalance that causes the leaves to bend and, in extreme cases, cause leaf loss. Defoliation influences the quantity and quality of the final harvest. Aphids also introduce toxins into the plant, systematically altering its development.
The honeydew secreted by aphids is the ideal growing medium for many types of fungi that will form a barrier on the leaf, preventing it from absorbing the light that touches it.
Nevertheless, the most harmful effect for plants is the transmission of viruses (without remedy). Aphids, particularly winged generations, can transmit dozens of viruses from a diseased plant to a healthy plant in just a few seconds.
So without treatment you risk losing all your culture.
Several steps are needed to control aphids:
Aphid predators include ladybugs and lacewings.
Larvae of chrysopus (Chrysoperla sp.) Are voracious predators of aphids.