University of Florida

Aphids

Aphids are soft-bodied, pear-shaped insects less than one-eighth of an inch long. They’re usually green but can also be black, yellow, or even blue. Sometimes called “plant lice,” aphids may infest almost any plant, especially roses and crapemyrtles.

Aphids have piercing-sucking mouthparts and cause damage by feeding on plant juices. They love new growth, and can be found throughout the year.

Inspect your plants weekly for aphids. Clues can include a black coating on the leaves called sooty mold, curling leaves, or damaged flower buds. The insects themselves are often found on stems or the undersides of leaves.

A forceful stream of water may be enough to control aphids. If an insecticide is needed, try using a horticultural oil or insecticidal soap first. Several systemic pesticide products are also available.

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