Aphids are small, soft bodied pests that suck the sap out of plants, leaving them susceptible to disease. These tiny insects multiply rapidly and can quickly damage gardens, flowers, and other plants around the yard.
Where to Look for Aphids
Aphids drink the sap of plants. The leaves of plants are the easiest way to access this sap and are the most common place aphids can be found. Aphids may "hide" on the underside of leaves or in curled leaves, so be sure to fold out leaves and look on both sides when searching for aphids.
Aphids can be found on bushes, shrubs, trees, the leaves of vegetables, and the leaves of ornamental plants. They may also be seen on fruit trees and oak trees.
Be sure to look at the stems, flowers (including inside and under petals), and the undersides of plant leaves when looking for aphids.
Signs of Aphids
As aphids are so small, many may not even recognize they have an infestation until they see damage to their plants.
It is not uncommon to see brown spots and holes in leaves, even if no aphids are present.
Aphids secrete honeydew, a sticky, sugary substance made from digested sap. Honeydew looks like small beads of water sitting on plant leaves. The substance is often clear but can also be a light brown. Honeydew can cause mold and fungi to grow on plants, which is another sign of aphids.
Ants often eat honeydew. Seeing ants on your plants may be a sign of aphids.
The Paper Test
Aphids are extremely small, which can make them hard to spot in a garden. The paper test is a great way to determine if you do indeed have aphids.
Simply place a piece of white paper under the leaf of a plant you suspect has aphids, then shake the plant. If small pests fall onto the paper, examine them to see if they are aphids.