Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied garden pests with long, slender mouthparts they use to suck the sweet nectar from nearly every type of plant under the sun. They may be green, brown, yellow, red or black, depending on the species. In warm weather, each adult aphid can produce 100 offspring in a single week. It’s easy to understand why aphids are such a problem around the home and garden.
How aphids harm plants
Most healthy plants are able to withstand a few aphids, but a serious infestation can cause major problems for gardeners. Inside the home, aphids can threaten houseplants very quickly.
An infestation of aphids may cause yellowing, curling and distortion of leaves. The tiny pests exude honeydew, a sticky substance that fosters black mold. Aphids are also capable of transmitting harmful diseases from plant to plant.
Signs and symptoms
Check houseplants and outdoor plants at least once every two weeks. Look closely at the underside of leaves, where aphids tend to gather en masse. If you notice tiny white spots on the leaves and the surface of potting soil, act quickly; those are aphid eggs.