The aphid group includes all aphids, blackfly and greenfly and are definitely FOE.
They vary from green, pink, and yellow, black, greyish-white to brown and are about 2mm long. Most of us would be familiar with greenfly on our roses or blackfly on our broad beans.
What are aphids?
Aphids are sap sucking insects and produce honeydew that sooty mould can form on. They attack exposed parts of plants and roots. They can spread virus and ants farm them.
Aphid Life cycle
A newborn becomes a reproducing adult at one week old and can then produce five offspring per day for up to 30 days. Aphids can reproduce asexually. As it’s babies all have babies after just one week, by the time the first newborn reaches the end of its reproductive life there could be 1,590,155 of the little devils! Just to make matters worse they can overwinter too unless we experience very cold temperatures.
How can we manage aphids?
Companion planting can encourage beneficial insects and predators such as hoverfly and lacewing larvae into gardens. Insecticidal soap is very effective but kill beneficial insects too so should be used with caution. Protective cloches can be places over crops to prevent aphids infesting them but as the little insects are so tiny they would be very difficult to stop. Squashing them between your fingers or spraying them off plants with a blast of water from the hose works well too but you have to check the plants daily to prevent a major infestation occurring.