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Aphids are one of the most common and destructive insect pests known, with about 4,400 species worldwide. They can be green, yellow, red, black, brown, pink or almost colorless. Aphids feed by sucking sap from plants. It causes decreased growth, distorted leaves, yellowing curled leaves, browning, wilting and death. As they feed, aphids secrete a sugary liquid waste called "honeydew". The honeydew can result in a black sooty mold growth on your plants.
Aphids reproduce quickly and spread to your neighboring plants. Treating infected plants as soon as noticed is important. Control can be accomplished in several different ways. Insecticidal soap, insecticides or horticultural oils can be used. Caution should be used when using oils. Some plants are sensitive to it's use and cause damage. Always read the directions and cautions on the bottle. Alternatively, you can use biological control such as ladybugs or lacewings. Be on the lookout for the nymphs of ladybugs. I've included a picture of one so that you will know these little bugs are the good guys! Companion planting can also be used. Aphids dislike the smell of catnip, garlic and mint. You can place these plants near an infected plant and the aphids will leave. I have never tried this one myself but have read that it works. If anybody has experience with using this technique, please leave us a comment. My personal preference is to make my own insecticidal soap with natural ingredients I have at home in my own kitchen.