Do you have tall, large trees around your compound or in your yard? Have you noticed any honey-like sap on the ground anytime you walk under these trees? If the answer is yes, then it is more likely that annoying insects called aphids have infested your trees. Learn more about these insects, and how you get rids of their infestation by reading through this article.
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What are aphids?
Usually, these insects excrete honeydew-a sweet and sticky liquid substance that is attractive to bees, wasps, and even ants. Many property owners think that their trees are leaking sap only to realize it is honeydew produced by these insects. The honeydew develops into a sooty mold, which reduces the photosynthesis process, thereby decreasing tree vigor and growth. It adversely affects plant health-yellow leaves, holes all over, sticky spots, and fungal diseases! Fortunately, there are great solutions to this menace.
Aphids, sometimes referred to as plant lice, are typically small, soft-bodied insects that suck sap from plant’s twigs, leaves, and even stems. It is incredibly hard to spot them in your garden unless you notice the telltale signs on your trees, which include sticky ap’ coating the leaf surfaces and underneath trees on walkways, walls, or decks. These cause severe stress to your trees and more often than not, cause a number of diseases.
How to get rid of tree aphids on large plants
The only way to control aphid infestation is to get rid of them. However, it is another toll order dealing with them if you have tall, large trees. Can you imagine spotting tiny insects when they up the leaves, more than 30 feet above the ground? Nonetheless, there are easy fixes to help get rid of these annoying insects, and it includes the following:
1). Spray the plant with the appropriate insecticide
If you noticed the sticky ap,’ then, without doubt, your trees are home of aphids. The very first thing you need to do is to spray the entire plant. But since your trees are quite tall, you may need to use a pressure-filled sprayer with a garden hose, which ensures the spray covers the topmost parts of the trees.
Since aphids are somewhat delicate insects, even a little water spray can remove them from the plant. If you choose this option, then you may need to mix water and one or two teaspoons of dish soap. Spray this solution every two to three days for two weeks until the infestation is gone.
Alternatively, use an appropriate insecticide powder. This may be hazardous to pets and children but goes a long way in ensuring that the entire infestation is destroyed.
2). Encourage aphid predators like some bird species
Another wonderful option to get rid of aphids is to encourage birds that feast on them. Ladybird beetles are a good example because they are voracious predators that love snacking on scale and aphids. If you spot them around your trees, leave them alone as they are efficient insect control. In fact, you need to set up some nesting boxes for them to ensure they do not leave!
3). Avoid excessive use of fertilizers
The third and the last option to deter the pesky insects is to avoid the use of too many fertilizers. Gardeners explain that this practice can encourage rapid plant growth, which translates to plentiful of renewed green shoots-the favorite food for aphids. It is, therefore, advisable that you use slow-release fertilizers, with nutrients sufficient to normalize growth rates and prevent your trees becoming a spot for aphids.
As we have mentioned, aphids are some of the most disastrous insects you can ever find, but being a vigilant gardener, checking your trees regularly for infestation, and acting straightaway are some of the simple plant lice treatments that will keep them under full control. The ultimate trick is to disturb them as much as possible while applying fast the measures we have explained. At the end of the day, your tall, large trees will thank you!