The average homeowner mows their grass regularly, trims up their hedges, and does many other things in order to make their home and yard look presentable. With so many things to keep up with around your Sacramento Region property, it is sometimes easy to forget about the trees and other greenery, that is until they start looking a bit worse for wear. If your plants around your property are looking sickly or you are looking for a way to keep them from being harmed in the future, you need to know about aphids. Here is what aphids do to trees in our area and the secret to effectively controlling these pests.

aphids eating plant in a sacramento county yard

What Are Aphids?

Aphids are tiny sap-sucking insects that belong to the superfamily of Aphidoidea. Some of their common relatives include blackflies and greenflies. These small pests regularly find their way onto trees and into garden areas to feed on the nutrient-rich liquids found inside plants. One common problem with aphids is that they reproduce rapidly. Each adult aphid can produce up to 80 offspring in just a week’s time. The only upside is that aphids move slowly, making them a bit easier to control.

You can identify an aphid on your property by its ¼” long, pear-shaped, brown, black, gray, yellow, light green, or pink body and the two long antennae that extend from its head. Depending on the species, aphids will either appear waxy or wooly. Nymphs are just as easy to identify as they look like smaller versions of their parents.

What Aphid Damage Looks Like

When aphids invade properties, they cause a fair amount of damage. The majority of this damage happens to plant growth. These pests especially like consuming succulent new growth. To identify the destruction these insects cause around properties, look for these signs.

  • Misshapen, stunted, yellowing, or curling leaves
  • A sticky substance (honeydew) on the stems of plant or the bark of trees
  • Fungal growth on the side of trees and other plants that appears black and white
  • Distorted fruits and flowers
  • Galls forming on roots and leaves
  • Diseased plant growth

How Aphids Attract Other Pests

One of the biggest problems aphids cause is that they attract other pests. Three common pests aphids draw onto properties are bees, wasps, and ants. These stinging, sugar-loving insects adore honeydew, a secretion made from aphids, and will happily consume it whenever possible. Some species of ants will even actively protect aphids so that they can continue to produce the sweet nectar they are so fond of. 

Does DIY Pest Prevention Work For Aphids?

The main difficulty in preventing aphids is that they consume plants. If you want to keep these pests from invading and causing trouble around your property, the only easy solution is to remove plant growth. This, of course, is not a logical solution. Other options to deter these pests include buying and releasing ladybugs onto your property, using horticultural oils to kill eggs, and planting aphid-repelling plants on your property. These solutions, however, are not always effective and take precision to do right.

A Better Option For Aphid Control

If you are looking for a way to keep aphids off your property, your best option is to turn to the Sacramento County pest control experts at HomeShield Pest Control. We put great effort into making sure our neighbors here in the Sacramento Region have the protection they need to defend their plants, trees, and yard against destructive pests like aphids.

Call today to schedule a pest inspection for your property or discuss your options for treatment.