Aphid-eating Insects

Aphid-eating Insects

“Aphids are really bad this year!” This is what we've been hearing on social media and from many home gardeners. Aphids can curl leaves, stunt plant growth, and make a mess by the sticky honeydew they exude. Some aphid species create galls which can also damage plants. Low to moderate aphid infestations usually don't damage plants but if you do have more aphids this year, there are many options for controlling them.

Aphids in landscapes and gardens can be managed by a number of different methods, including biological control. Biological control is when naturally occurring beneficial insects, mites, or other organisms (also called natural enemies) reduce a pest's abundance by eating or parasitizing them.

There are numerous natural enemies that are predators or parasites of aphids. Predators such as lady beetles (ladybugs), lacewings, syrphid fly larvae, and soldier beetles all feed on aphids. Very small parasitic wasps lay their eggs inside aphids which eventually kills the aphid host. Check out the video below to see aphid-eating insects in action!

To learn more about other methods of aphid management, see our Pest Notes: Aphids.

 

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By Elaine Lander
Author - Urban & Community IPM Educator
By Karey Windbiel-Rojas
Author - Associate Director for Urban & Community IPM/ Area IPM Advisor