During warm weather aphids thrive, building up their numbers in preparation for an all-out assault on your tender new growth.

Aphids will suck out nutrients with their sharp, needle-like mouths, leaving your plants with twisted or deformed new growth and flowers.

They will start to appear on certain edible and ornamental plants like gardenias, roses and viburnums. In your vegie patch they can often be spotted amongst crops like chives, cabbage, lettuce and even citrus trees.

They are usually found on the tips of plants, where succulent new growth is located and the sap is sweetest. This is where to look for them, but they can be masters of camouflage. If you see masses of ants on your plants, this is also a good indication of the presence of aphids, as the ants like to eat the sticky residue left behind by aphids.

Lady beetles are the natural predators of aphids, but if they're not keeping them under control you have a few pest management options to choose from.

 

Aphids on a rose bush Aphids on a rose bush

Treating aphids

1. Treat organically with a pest oil

Certified organic eco-oil uses botanical oils making it super safe (for us and for bees!) and there is no withholding period for your edibles. Eco-oil works by smothering the pest so will kill existing aphids only. It is safe for beneficial insects and the new formulation even attracts beneficial bugs into to your garden to help fight pest problems!

2. Treat with pyrethrum