PreventionTwo ways to prevent aphid infestations are routine spray with Neem Oil and installing sticky fly traps. Neem oil is an organic compound that naturally repels aphids away. Neem oil not only repels aphids but multiple pests like mealy bugs, spider mites, cabbage worms, beetles, leafminers, ants, and caterpillars. Another great use for Neem oil is keeping control of fungus from spreading and infecting other plants.
Sticky traps placed on the floor near plants and hanging near the top will prevent an aphid infestation from the beginning. Aphids do not normally fly but they can produce wings when their current plant host is losing sap or if the population is too crowded. For little insects, they have a sophisticated way of staying alive.
IdentifyAphids are usually grey but can range to any color. Regardless of their color, aphids will feast on any part of your plant by biting into leaf, stem, and bud while sucking the life out of the plant. Once attached, the aphid becomes stationary and fairly easy to spot. A 10x magnifier will be sufficient for identification. Aphids are most present indoors when there are a lot of aphids outdoors. We recommend changing your clothes before tending to your indoor garden because whatever visitor that comes hanging out on your clothes will find a way in. Not only is your indoor grow a great environment for your plants but you now invited a pest with a great environment to thrive in as well. Did I mention that aphids can fly when looking for a new home? Another strange fact-- female aphids do not require mating to reproduce and will excrete a live female offspring between 3 and 100 times every day. These offspring are hungry! Aphids suck sap from reaching your plant's tissues causing leaves to wilt and turn yellow. After an infestation has progressed you may notice a buildup of aphid excretion called honeydew-- it's that sweet sugary poop goodness that I mentioned earlier. Also, side warning: APHIDS WILL TARGET WEAK PLANTS LIKE NO OTHER PARASITE! Now let's talk about how to eradicate aphids...
ERADICATE!Like I mentioned earlier, if your plant can survive in a set of conditions, the aphid can as well. However, some predators will specifically target aphids. The Lacewing (Chrysoperia species) is the most effective and available predator to wipe out aphids. The larvae of this flying insect tear through aphid colonies voraciously. Release 1-20 lacewings per plant depending on infestation level as soon as aphids appear, their eggs will take a few days to hatch.
Of course, the ladybug is also an excellent predator to the aphid and freely available, especially during summer. Indoor gardeners may choose to utilize the lacewing instead of the ladybug due to its incredible attraction to HID lights. If your indoor grow room uses ladybugs, plan on about 50% (no exaggeration) of them immediately flying directly into your bulbs and dying. Within 5-10 days, all the ladybugs will have committed suicide in an HID garden. Now let's talk about manually removing aphids with your hands. This is a very effective treatment against aphid infestation. Once the aphid begins feeding it is immobile and easily crushed with fingers or a sponge containing an insecticidal solution. The last method we'll go over: sprays. Insecticidal soap, pyrethrum (aerosol) and homemade sprays are very effective. Apply two or three times daily at 5-10 day intervals. I hope you guys learned a little bit about aphids in this post. Tell me, what do you think is the best way to deal with pests? My philosophy is always making sure you keep a clean environment both inside and outside of your grow op. But that's just me. What're your thoughts?