These are soft bodied pests and can be found on the backs of leaves. They also attack the stems, flowers, and fruit of a plant where they suck the sap. There are a number of species of varying colours, which include, black, brown, grey, white, yellow, green and pink and attack different plants. Their bite can inoculate the plant with a virus that causes deformation of fruit. Aphids produce a sugary substance called honeydew which attracts other insects such as ants.
- Simply spraying with cold water can help dislodge aphids and remove a small infestation. The dislodged pests are not able to return to the plant.
- Spraying the plant with a mild soap or dilute neem oil solution and wiping the infected area often works well. Repeat this every 2 – 3 days for a couple of weeks for best results.
- Adding a pinch of chilli powder to the above soap spray also helps to remove infestation.
- Mix equal parts of 70% isopropyl alcohol and water. To this add a few drops of liquid soap. This works very effectively when sprayed on infected areas of the plant.