Aphid (Greenfly / Blackfly) Control

Aphids (Greenfly and Blackfly) are a major pest underglass - they are all similar in appearance although they vary greatly in colour, but are most commonly green or black.

aphids greenfly blacflyAphids are small insects with long spindly legs and antennae. During the summer they are wingless as they feed on the plant, but as the population increases winged forms appear which help to spread the infection. Aphids feed by sucking the sap from the plant, this stunts the growth and causes distortion of the growing point. The aphid absorbs large quantities of plant sap and this sap contains excess sugar that the aphid excretes as honeydew. This is sticky and coats the lower leaves of your plants and often a sooty mould will develops on the honeydew, which is unsightly and reduces the plants ability to manufacture food causing further loss of vigor - this is usually the 1st sign of an aphid infestation. Aphids are fast breeders - each female is capable of producing 6-8 live young daily over a 2/3 week period. Importing just one aphid on a plant can quickly lead to severe infestation. It is essential to check all plants brought into the greenhouse or conservatory for signs of aphids and deal with them immediately. In summer winged females will come in through greenhouse vents, so during warm weather be extra vigilant. To control aphids :-

  • Use Aphidius when aphids are active and the average temperature is 10C/50F.
  • If the temperature is below 10C/50F, use SB Invigorator to hold the fort until temperatures rise and then introduce Aphidius.
  • If the infestation is very heavy then spray with our natural spray SB Invigorator first to reduce numbers before introducing Aphidius - see our Aphid Emergency Pest Pack.
  • Ladybirds and Lacewing Larvae love to eat aphids, so they can be used to control HEAVY infestions in your greenhouse / conservatory - available between May and August.

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