Root aphids are insects that stay above the soil line near plant growth. These pests are especially a problem with homeowners who have indoor plants like Cannanbis. Root aphids are difficult to see with the human eye, making it hard to control an infestation when it happens.
They are also notorious for draining the sap from plants and killing them. The pests damage is often misleading and thought of as a nutrient deficiency, making them even more of a threat to homeowners.
A root aphid even can blend into the roots and soil, giving growers very little chance at spotting the pest. Some homeowners have been lucky enough to find traces of the aphid's existence by a white, wax-like material that is a secreted honeydew left on the plants.
Homeowners with outdoor gardens should keep an eye out for an ant infestation. Root Aphids are sometimes seen congregating with ants in the garden. Homeowners with outdoor gardens should keep an eye out for an ant infestation. Root Aphids are sometimes seen congregating with ants in the garden who may carry them to new plants to infest.
They are often mistaken as a mealybug because of their pear-shaped body, the similarity in size, and the white honeydew secretion that they leave behind. The biggest distinguishing mark is their tail or clinical, which is located on the end of their abdomen.
Unfortunately, the pests easily adapt to most environments, so their life cycle can vary. They are asexual, so they can reproduce easily during the growing season and will hibernate their eggs during the winter months in the soil. During the warmer months, eggs are attached to a plant's leaves and stem above the root line.
Once the eggs hatch, the root aphids will drop into the soil and bore into the plant's root which causes damage, disease, and eventually death. Once the aphid has destroyed the plant, it will move on to seek out and attack new plants.
Signs of damage to root aphid attack are yellow leaves that are withered and curled, often mistaken by plant owners for a nutrient deficiency problem.
To naturally control root aphids, inspect houseplants for any signs of damage caused by the pests. If there is a severe amount of damage, it may be best to dispose of the plant to prevent further infestation and prevent other plant losses. Dispose of damaged plants in a sealed container, then disinfect and sanitize all areas including pots where the infected plant grew to reduce chances of the aphids moving on.
Many commercial grade soils already contain hidden root aphids and their eggs. It is best to make your own soil and avoid investing in these soils to keep aphids from migrating into your plants and outdoor gardens.
For outdoor gardens, birds are natural predators that will feast on aphid eggs if given the opportunity. Set up birdhouses near trees and gardens to invite birds into your yard and reduce aphid infestations.
Beneficial insects such as parasitic wasps and ladybugs will attack aphids and their eggs when introduced into gardens and greenhouses.
Beneficial nematodes can also be introduced into garden soil to control root aphids. Nematodes will attack other harmful pests that hide in the soil and destroy plants.
When purchasing new indoor plants, check for any signs of damage and traces of an aphid attack before you make a final decision.
If the damage is found on an indoor plant in your home, place sticky traps or tape near the plant's soil, then periodically check the trap or tape for signs of any aphids and their movement. If aphids are found, it's probably too late. Infected plants should be thrown out since it's not worth risking other plants or your home from an infestation.