When aphids eat and suck plants, they leave their saliva behind, making the plants curl as they become deprived of nutrients. But what happens in the winter months? Will aphids die in the winter or can they survive the cold?
This is not a simple question to answer. Whether aphids live or die depends on which kind they are. Some aphids can live throughout the winter, while others die.
Most aphids will overwinter as eggs in gardens. Nearly all aphid eggs can survive the coldest temperatures, which makes them hardy insects. Therefore, it is likely that aphids will not die in the winter, as a species or infestation, at least.
What Temperature Can Aphids Survive?
Aphids are strong insects and can survive cold temperatures. However, for an aphid to die, the temperature must become very cold, somewhere between -5 degrees Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius.
It’s also worth noting that some aphids are also unable to survive warm temperatures from 32 degrees Celsius and up.
However, if the plant on which the aphids are living is healthy and doing well, they may survive. This is because the plants will provide shade to the aphids and keep them from the warm weather.
Do Aphids Die in the Cold?
Cold temperatures are unlikely to affect aphids, and even aphid eggs survive the coldest winters. Therefore, if you believe that cold temperatures will freeze aphids and kill them, you would, unfortunately, be mistaken.
However, aphids do actually become weak in the warm months because they cannot handle the heat. Therefore, it is easy for you to remove and/or kill them during the hot months as they are more docile.
Aphids will have a hard time surviving unless the plant they live on provides them with enough shade to get through.
Where Do Aphids Live in the Winter?
In the winter, adult aphids will live in gardens and become hosts on plants. Some common host weeds that aphids are on include thistle, field bindweed, grasses, and mustard. Aphids will also overwinter as eggs in the winter on fruit trees.
How Do Aphids Survive Winter?
Most aphids will survive the winter as eggs which helps them survive the cold and extreme conditions. After winter, in spring, the eggs hatch, and all the aphids born are females. The males fertilize female aphids in the winter, which lay eggs on the plants.
Apart from surviving winter as eggs, aphids will also deal with winters in two other ways. When the temperature drops, aphids will slow down their metabolism system and become mentally lazy.
Aphids also have bodily fluids which become thick and dissolves protein which stops water from forming crystals in their body.
The aphids will drop their body temperature, so it is lower than the surroundings. Hence, this way the insects become resilient enough to survive even the coldest of temperatures.
How to Kill Aphids in the Winter
You can use several methods to kill aphids in the winter. In fact, the method you use throughout the year can also be used to deter aphids in the winter months.
Firstly, you can make a diluted solution with soap. The soap can cause aphids to asphyxiate and die. Aphids are small and, therefore, very good at hiding under plant leaves. Therefore, you must be thorough in your search and give a good bath to your plants.
When aphids take over plants, they leave behind a sticky, waxy layer. You can use vodka and dab the plant to get rid of the waxy layer. Unfortunately, the vodka will dry out the layer. However, this method works well if you spot the problem early.
You can also use pesticides that are unharmful towards plants and other children. However, what kills aphids may also kill ladybugs. Therefore, many people avoid using pesticides on their plants.
You can also opt to use biological controls such as larvae and parasites. The parasites are commercially available, and you can mix them in water to create a spray. Next, you can spray this mixture on the soil below the plant and ensure that the soil soaks it up. You will need to do this step multiple times to ensure you get rid of those pesky aphids.
Aphids are small insects that take over plants in gardens. These insects are too small to spot unless the plant is covered with them. Aphid infestations are dangerous because the plants curl, become yellow, and do not do well.
Many people assume that aphids do not survive in the winter. However, this factor depends on what kind of aphids are and the temperature of the environments they live in.
The majority of the aphids live in the winter as they are hardy insects with mechanisms that help them live through cold temperatures.
Aphids will live in the winters as eggs on fruit trees. When the eggs hatch, all the aphids born are females.
Aphids can survive temperatures that are warmer than -5 degrees Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, aphids have a hard time surviving warm temperatures of 32 degrees Celsius and above. Aphids may survive hot temperatures if the plant they are living on is healthy and doing well.
You can get rid of aphids in the winter by suffocating them using a mixture of soap and water. Other methods of killing aphids include using pesticides or biological measures like parasites.
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