Do you often spot tiny soft-bodied, and often green insects feeding on your plants? These are aphids and are known as one of the biggest enemies of your leafy babies. Why?
Aphids not only suck the nutrients present in a plant but also make holes in the leaves, ensuring that the plant withers and dies quickly. In addition, they travel from one plant to another to increase their population and wreak havoc in your green space.
But how do these insects travel? Do aphids jump?
No, aphids can’t jump. They can only crawl, and a few species can fly, but these insects can’t jump.
In this article, let’s explore more on this topic and see what characteristic helps aphids to travel and perform their job.
Do Aphids Jump?
Aphids, also referred to as plant lice, can’t jump. Instead, they crawl and, in a few circumstances, also fly. Also, a few species can make a small hop, but jumping isn’t their typical quality.
So, how do they travel from one plant to another with ease?
Since aphids can’t jump, they require a technique to travel in a garden. And that is why a few of the species of aphids fly.
Greenfly is the most common species that can fly. It moves from one plant to another to pursue a new location to create a new colony and find more food to survive.
It is imperative to mention that aphids are not born with wings. In fact, these insects don’t have wings in most stages of life cycles. Instead, they develop wings right before they become adults, and then these insects travel before the wings separate from the body.
Also, just because aphids have wings doesn’t mean they are good flies. Aphids are mediocre flies, and you won’t see them traveling long distances.
Aphids can’t jump, and they can’t even fly properly. So, how do they make sure to stay safe from their predators?
How Do Aphids Keep They Safe?
Like all other creatures in this universe, aphids have many predators. For instance, specific bugs such as ladybugs and brown and green lacewings love to feed on these insects.
This implies that aphids aren’t always safe. But since they can’t jump or fly away, how do these insects escape from their predators?
There are two ways in which they do that.
Whenever aphids spot their predator, they drop from the plants and land on the ground, pretending to die. In this entire process, these insects don’t get hurt but easily escape from the wrath of the bugs arriving for their hunt.
Ants Save Aphids
Believe it or not, aphids are loved by ants. This is because ants are the biggest protectors of these insects and keep them safe from other bugs.
Why is that so? This is because ants love the honeydew, a solution that aphids produce. This substance is pretty sweet, and ants can’t help but resist it.
So, to continue the supply of honeydew, ants make sure to keep aphids safe and alive for a long time. They keep the other bugs away and, at times, even help aphids to escape from their nests. To appreciate the help, aphids allow ants to milk them and enjoy the sweet honeydew solution.
It is safe to say that aphids have someone to look after them, which encourages them to do whatever they feel like with your plants. However, just because these insects can’t jump doesn’t mean that they aren’t capable of causing damage.
An aphid infestation can happen quickly without you realizing it, so it is imperative to keep an eye on these tiny creatures all the time.
How Do Aphids Damage Your Plants?
There are many ways in which aphids destroy your plants and suck the life out of them. For instance, these insects feed on branches, soft stems, and fruits. They pierce a plant’s stem and consume its nutrient-rich sap to curb their hunger and satisfaction.
As a result, this process turns the leaves yellow and deformed, and the fruits get damaged.
Interestingly, aphids don’t like to eat alone. Instead, they choose to feed on large groups. This means, depending on their population, aphids can easily lead to a massive infestation causing harm to entire crops.
Since these insects multiply pretty quickly, it is easy to experience an uncontrollable infestation in no time.
Furthermore, aphids carry viruses, so having them around isn’t safe for you or your pets. These creatures also transfer these viruses to various plants, damaging crops such as grains, potatoes, and citrus.
While they may seem tiny, aphids aren’t the insects you want to have in your garden, and getting rid of them is the only way out.
How to Get Rid of Aphids?
Fortunately, there are different ways available to eliminate aphids. Unfortunately, these harmful insects can cause more damage than expected, so it is best to deal with them as soon as you spot a few.
Here’s what you can do.
- Eliminate aphids through a strong stream of water. Fast-flowing water poured on plants can quickly kill an army of aphids. However, this method may not be enough to deal with an infestation.
- You can use Diatomaceous Earth to get rid of these creatures. This powder-like substance breaks the exoskeleton of aphids, making them hard to breathe and then die from suffocation. Besides, Diatomaceous Earth isn’t toxic, so it doesn’t harm your plants.
- Alternatively, you can opt for a pesticide if you have an aphid infestation. Pesticides are toxic, but they can get rid of these creatures within a few days. Also, they are readily available, which makes them convenient to use.
Aphids are tiny insects that can’t jump, and most species can’t even fly properly. However, these limitations don’t hinder them from performing their job and damage your plants. These insects are not weak; instead, they know some excellent survival tactics that let them suck the life out of your plants.
Having them around in your fields or garden isn’t a great idea. So before aphids eat all your crops or plants, get rid of them as soon as possible.