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GARDENING: Aphid control and prevention - Odessa American: Gardening

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GARDENING: Aphid control and prevention

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Posted: Sunday, November 1, 2020 12:45 am

Aphids are tiny insects with sucking mouth parts that they use to pierce into the vascular tissue of plants. Right now, you may be noticing their sticky substance all over your trees especially if you have pecans. If you look at just the right angle you will notice their honeydew rain. Honeydew is essentially their poop. When they tap into the vascular tissue, they are taking the sugary substance the plant is producing through photosynthesis. They are feeding constantly and as they are eating; they are excreting, hence the ‘rain.’

There are two main types of aphids, black margin aphids and black aphids. Black margin aphids are yellow bodied and have black outlines on their wings. When black margin aphids feed it is like you placing a straw in a drink and sucking. When black aphids feed, they release an enzyme that digest the plant tissue and they then suck the digested plant material. The black aphid will cause more damage because they are breaking down the tissue.

Easy at home chemical treatment can be a mix of soap and water in a spray bottle. Neem oil is also great to use on aphids. Stronger active ingredients that you can use include any pyrethroid as well as the active ingredient malathion.

For more information, call the AgriLife office at 498-4071 in Odessa or at 686-4700 in Midland, email jeanette.castanon@ag.tamu.edu or visit aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu or westtexasgardening.org.

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