These tiny pests are usually found living on plants. They are quite hardy in nature, which means they can survive rough conditions. But does that mean that they can survive living in soil?
The Quick Answer
Can Aphids Live in Soil?
Aphids can live in the soil. Two aphid species are likely to be found in soil. These are Rose Root Aphids and White Root Aphids.
Can Aphids Survive in Soil?
Aphids primarily do not live and cannot survive very well in soil. However, there are certain species of aphid that have been known to infest and survive in soil.
But there are no species of aphids that can survive in soil without nearby live plants to help keep them sustained.
What Species of Aphids Live in Soil?
Most species of aphids that live in soil are a type of root aphid.
Root aphids can survive in the soil near the roots of growing plants. Here are a couple of examples of aphids that you may find living in your soil.
Rose Root Aphids
As the name suggests, this species of root aphid will live in the soil surrounding your rose bushes. They can be quite damaging to your rose plants, especially for ones that are young or newly planted.
These aphids are brown in colour and are most often found in the summer months in the UK.
White Root Aphids
White root aphids are often mistaken for mealworms or other similar looking pests. As the name suggests, they are also white in colour, and whilst they can survive beneath the soil, many of them stay close to or on top of the soil’s surface.
Like the other root aphids, they are frequently found living in the soil of young plants or seedlings and can severely stunt their growth.
There are other species of root aphids that can survive in soil. However, they are usually much pickier about what plants they will host and therefore are not as common as the listed species.
Can Aphid Eggs Survive in Soil?
Aphid eggs are known to be quite hardy. Whilst most aphids will lay their eggs on the underside of leaves on plants that they are currently inhabiting.
However, aphid eggs can actually survive in the soil for several months. Most species of root aphid will plant their eggs beneath the soil where they reside. The cover of the soil actually helps to protect the eggs and to keep them warm over the winter months.
How to Get Rid of Aphids in Soil
The easiest way to get rid of an aphid infestation is to encourage natural predators of the aphids to do it for you. Many birds and bugs, such as ladybugs, will eat a large number of aphids, and if you make your garden attractive to them, they will frequent it and keep your soil aphid free.
You can even purchase ladybugs from some pest control suppliers, and they are very beneficial to your garden in many different ways.
It is also quite easy to take preventative measures to avoid having a root aphid infestation. Avoid using commercial bagged soil when maintaining your garden.
There is a higher chance that the pre-packaged soil will already contain some aphids or aphid eggs. Making your own compost soil reduces the chances of introducing aphids to your garden when you initially lay it down.
To summarise what we have learnt in this article, here are a few key points that you should keep in mind. Most species of aphids live on your plants, but there are several that do live in or on your soil.
These species of aphids that live in soil are all categorised as root aphids. The most common one in the UK is the rose root aphid. Root aphids will also lay their eggs in the soil, and they can survive there throughout the winter months.
To get rid of root aphids, use biological control such as ladybugs to help consume and limit the population. You need to do this as root aphids can stunt the growth and damage newly growing plants.
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