Aphids are pests that people do not welcome in their gardens because they bite into plants, suck them of all their nutrients and destroy them. As aphids are harmful to plants, people often worry that aphids could be poisonous to humans. But is this true?
Aphids are not poisonous to humans. In fact, aphids cannot even bite humans.
Aphids indeed bite plants, but their mouths are not made for biting humans. Therefore, aphids are not harmful or poisonous to humans. However, they are annoying and considered a nuisance.
Can Aphids Affect Humans?
Aphids have small mouths, which means they can only bite and suck plants. Therefore, you do not need to worry about aphids biting you. However, while aphids may not have physical effects on humans, they can be irritating and take a toll on you as a gardener.
Aphids can stress gardeners out because they suck the life out of plants. Additionally, the aphid saliva on the plants takes away its healing powers, causing them to curl and wither.
Humans are always looking for ways to get rid of aphid infestations, including the use of ladybugs, spiders, or more. The most effective way to tackle an aphid infestation is to use chemicals. However, these are dangerous.
Despite insecticides being dangerous and toxic, humans still have to use them to save their plants. For people who grow flowers or plants for commercial use, aphids are a serious problem. An aphid infestation for these traders would mean a loss; therefore, they can have a bad mental effect on humans.
In addition to garden plants, aphids can enter your home if you have indoor plants. If you have aphids inside, they can grow in population quickly because they do not have any predators inside. Therefore, you must be careful when dealing with aphids and ensure you use appropriate measures to contain them.
Can Aphids Kill Humans?
It is a rare occasion that aphids will bite humans. But an aphid bite is not serious and will not harm. Hence, aphids cannot kill humans, but they can kill your plants.
Do Aphids Eat Other Insects?
Insects feed on other insects, and many people assume the same for aphids. However, aphids only feed on plants. In addition, aphids have small mouths, and therefore, they cannot bite into human or animal flesh.
Therefore, aphids will not eat other insects or animals.
Since cannibalistic behaviour is common in insects and animals, people wonder if aphids feed on their own kind. However, aphids can’t feed on other aphids. On the other hand, there have been instances when aphids may poke their fellow aphids if they are confused or wish to get honeydew.
How to Identify Aphids in Gardens
If you have never experienced an aphid infestation, you may have difficulty identifying aphids and figuring out what is wrong with your plants. However, once you identify aphids, it will be easy for you to get rid of them.
You can easily identify aphids if you know about their physical features. Aphids are small, and you can spot them with your naked eye. There are different species of aphids, and they come in many colours like green, brown, black, white, and pink. Some aphids have a wool-like exterior, while others may be waxy.
Aphids have small bodies shaped like pears, and some species have two sticks poking out at the end. Adult aphids do not have wings, but some develop wings. The wings help aphids move from one place to another, so it is easy to look for food.
You can also tell if you have an aphid infestation by the kind of damage your plants have. For example, aphids leave the plant looking yellow and curled. Moreover, the plants will also have a sticky surface. If you notice stunted growth in your plants, it can be due to an aphid infestation.
How to Get Rid of Aphids
Aphids are a nuisance, and if you identify them in your garden, it is best to get rid of them as soon as possible. There are various ways you can get rid of aphids.
Since aphids will not bite you and cause no harm, you can pick and remove them from your garden. This is only an effective method for getting rid of aphids if you only have a few on the plant.
Sometimes, the aphid population can be too much that even spraying them with water will not work. In this situation, you can try sprinkling flour on the plants. The flour will make the aphids constipated.
Another common and effective method to get rid of aphids is by using dish soap. You can mix dish soap with water and spray the aphids with it. You can use this mixture a few times for several weeks and you’ll notice the difference.
Aphids are small insects that gardeners do not like. Aphids may seem small, but they are harmful to gardens because they destroy plants. These pests have small mouths and eat and suck on plants.
When aphids leave their saliva on plants, the plants do not heal and curl. Also, an aphid infestation will cause the plants to wither and stunt.
Aphids cannot harm humans, and they are not poisonous to them. These small insects only feed on plants because of their mouths and do not feed on other insects or aphids.
However, while aphids may not cause physical harm, they can cause mental stress to humans by the damage they cause.
You can get rid of aphids by spraying them with cold water or soap water. If there are fewer aphids, you can handpick and remove them.
Ryan is a keen gardener from the UK who’s spent years dealing with countless, common pests over the years so knows the ins and outs of how to deal with pests in the garden