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Aphids? Get Rid! – Hydro Harvest Pest Control

When it comes to purity, when it comes to clear-headed, non-stop, all-consuming clarity of purpose it is hard not to admire aphids. That’s probably not a popular point of view to someone who’s just seen their crop ravaged but there is a lesson worth learning from the little critters. Do to them as they’d do to your plants.

Intervention needn’t be apocalyptic, it needn’t halt your grow, it needn’t even be ecologically unsound, but if you want to preserve your hard work it’s got to happen. You didn’t assemble the best and brightest in horticulture just to have the results nibbled to death. So, where to begin?

First off, know your enemy. This is absolutely essential. You don’t want to hit the wrong bug with the wrong bomb. Doing so would mean, at best, wasting your money rather than the pests. At worst, misidentifying the pest can lead to continued infestation and desperate over-application of inappropriate mixtures with damaging side-effects. For the avoidance of doubt read on.

The Pest:

AphidsWinged or wingless insects

Distinguishing Features:

Slim in young ‘nymph’ form, rounded when adult

Colour:

Various from black, brown, red, green, yellow, to white

What they do:

Think your plant looks succulent? You’ve no idea how juicy it appears to an aphid. These pests love nothing better than to bite into leaves or stems and suck the life out. Like all cowardly vampires they mass in the shadows, typically on the undersides of leaves. Left unchecked their draining of the essence results in yellowing, wilted leaves, and potentially plant death.

Not satisfied with drinking your plants, aphids all like to crap Honeydew all over them too. Despite its pretty name Honeydew can be a disaster in itself as it draws in other, bigger insects to feed and provides the perfect breeding ground for black ‘sooty mould’. Sooty mould, in turn, will merrily coat your leaves and screw up photosynthesis.

Treatment:

Unlike other indoor pests you can’t nip aphids in the bud by taking out the eggs as aphids are birthed ‘live’ as nymphs. Newborn nymphs get straight to work feeding and in ten days or so they can be reproducing themselves. So you need to act quickly.

If the infestation is so bad that you can clearly see it then the first step is to physically intervene. You might try washing down affected areas (if you can do so safely), rubbing off aphids by hand, and/or cleanly removing and vegetation that is badly infested. This is free but also arduous. For products that actively deal with aphids read on!

Defence:

To protect the plant itself you need a foliar spray such as A.R.T.S Aphids-0. These defensive treatments typically coat the plant leaves in a tough yet non-growth restricting membrane which denies flying insects the opportunity to feed. As with all grow room products it is important to heed the instructions, especially where plant-type suitability and the timing of spraying is concerned.

Attack:

There are plenty of food-safe treatments designed to attack the aphids themselves without having any negative effects on plant development. Products such as Plant Chemist Insect Control typically immobilise the bugs, and prevent them from feeding until they die off, the perfect, non-destructive solution for all concerned, except the aphids.

Prevention:

The rate at which aphids become active, mature, and reproduce means just a few can quickly start a thriving colony. Inspecting your plants closely on a (minimum) weekly basis is a sure way to keep tabs on any flare ups.

Unfortunately aphids are right at home in growth-inducing climatic conditions so there’s little you can do in terms of creating a hostile environment that won’t also impact your plants.

What you can do is make sure your entry points are sealed, your outdoor clothes and shoes are covered up, and any new plants are kept separately and observed before being allowed into the room. These steps are unbelievably cheap to take, especially when you consider the value of your precious plants. And that’s the bottom line with aphids, they’re pretty cheap to deal with but costly to ignore.