How to Identify Aphids

Not sure what aphids look like or if your plants are infested? Here’s how to identify aphids (also known as “plant lice”) by their appearance as well as by the damage to your plants.

Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects. They are about a tenth of an inch long (about the size of an average freckle) and normally black or green, though they can be gray, brown, yellow, pink and reddish-brown as well. They have six thin, long legs and two long, tubular cornicles (“siphunculi”) emerging from the tail end of their body that ooze drops of a substance called cornicle wax. The existence of these cornicles can help to distinguish them from other insects. Their antennae can have up to six segments. They

The also have something called a cauda in back which looks sort of like a tail. Most aphids have wings but not every type of aphid does.

You can also identify an aphid infestation by the damage on your plants. 

When aphids attack a plant, the leaves may become yellow, misshapen, mottled, curled, brown, blistered, or wilted. The plant may grow slower and have lower yields or even die.

Aphids excrete a clear and sticky substance called honeydew, which can develop into a sooty looking mold on the leaves. Leaves covered in honeydew will feel sticky and appear shiny.

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