- Peach potato aphids happily feed on a wide variety of plants, including many flowers, fruits and vegetables and are usually found on the youngest leaves and shoots, or on the underside of older leaves.
About Peach potato aphid
- The peach potato aphid is one of the most common greenfly pests within the UK, particularly on tender succulent plants that are grown within greenhouses.
- Adult aphids are up to 2mm long and elliptical in shape. They're mostly pale green in colour although pink or red forms also occur.
- During the warmer months, aphids give birth to as many as five live young a day and so rapidly produce large colonies.
- When the colonies become overpopulated, they move to different locations by producing winged aphids that can fly on to new host plants.
- During the cooler months, aphids mate and produce eggs which overwinter.
- Peach potato aphids can damage plants in two ways, either directly by piercing the leaf with their feeding tubes and sucking the sap, or indirectly by infecting the plant with a virus.
- Aphid-transmitted viruses can often result in plant death.
- Aphids excrete plant sugars as sticky honeydew when they feed.
- Honeydew often covers the leaves of a plant and then becomes covered with unsightly black sooty moulds.
Products containing the following chemical ingredients are all effective on Peach potato aphid
- Natural fatty acids
- Surfactant based products
Note: It is important to read manufacturer's instructions for use and the associated safety data information before applying chemical treatments.
- Inspect your plants thoroughly every week so that you can deal with any infestation in an appropriate manner as soon as it occurs.
- Removing as many aphids as possible by hand, or shaking an infested plant over an old towel will initially help to reduce numbers.
- Spraying the infested areas of a plant with a strong jet of water, such as a hose, will also help to reduce their numbers.
- Use layers of netting or fleece to stop aphids spreading to susceptible plants, or to quarantine infested plants until they can be treated. Natural enemies can then be released on to the affected plants.
- For outside plants, aphid predators such as ladybirds, aphidoletes, hoverfly and lacewing larvae can be obtained from commercial suppliers and released on to the affected plants.
- For greenhouse plants within a contained environment, parasitic wasps of aphids such as Aphidius colemani and Aphidius ervi can also be purchased for release.
- Check plants for signs of aphid infestation every week and deal with them as soon as they appear.
- Encourage natural enemies to become established within the garden by planting scented and colourful plants wherever possible.
- Avoid using broad spectrum insecticides which will kill beneficial insects as well as aphids.
- Encourage insectivorous birds by hanging feeders in winter and provide nesting boxes in spring.