The University of California Division of Agriculture & Natural Resources provides excellent information regarding the identification and life cycles of aphids. "Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects with long slender mouthparts that they use to pierce stems, leaves, and other tender plant parts and suck out fluids. Almost every plant has one or more aphid species that occasionally feed on it. Many aphid species are difficult to distinguish from one another; however, management of most aphid species is similar." (M. L. Flint, 2013)
Please refer to the link above as a reference to aphid management guidelines. Please reference the recommended treatments below as suggested methodologies for organic/biodynamic and integrated pest management. It is up to each individual and business to ensure the safety of application.
Aphids inflict serious damage to a variety of crops. They are notorious virus vectors and have an enormous reproductive capacity. There are lots of different coloured species and they occur in all kinds of crops. The nymphs and adults extract food materials from the plant and disturb the balance of the plant's growth hormones. This video documents the lifecycle of aphids.
Published on Jun 16, 2016 by: Koppert Biological Systems
Recommended controls for Aphids
Each control will have its own set of parameters that will be best suited for individual environments. Certain controls may only be available for commercial application.
Commercial farmers are required to reference their own state laws to ascertain if the recommended controls fall within compliance of their states regulatory guidelines.
MECHANICAL AND PHYSICAL CONTROLS
- Frequent monitoring helps in identifying early infestations. Regularly inspect new growth, flower buds, stems, and tender shoots.
- Be sure to check the underside of leaves. Monitor when temperatures make aphids more active, between 65° to 80°F.
- Avoid overusing nitrogen fertilizer, which aphids love. Use only the amount recommended on the fertilizer label.
- On sturdy plants, aphids can be blasted away with a strong spray of water, breaking their sucking mouthparts and preventing them from feeding.
- Consider pruning dense tree canopies to minimize aphid habitat.
- Consider providing a habitat for other insects that that feed or prey on aphids, such as lady beetles, parasitic wasps, and lacewings. To do that, avoid using broad-spectrum insecticides, and try to make nectar available throughout the season. (National Pesticide Information Center)