AphidsCaused by: Aphis gossypii
Problem Category: Insect
Symptoms: Small soft bodied Insect on underside of leaves and/or stems of plant; usually green or yellow in color, but may be pink, brown, red or black depending on species and host plant; if aphid infestation is heavy it may cause leaves to yellow and/or distorted, necrotic spots on leaves and/or stunted shoots; aphids secrete a sticky, sugary substance called honeydew which encourages the growth of sooty mold on the plants.
Comments: Honeydew excreted by aphids promotes growth of mold. This honeydew also attarcts ants which then protect the aphids from natural enemies and even move aphids to other parts of the plants and even other plants.
Management: If aphid population is limited to just a few leaves or shoots then the infestation can be pruned out to provide control; check transplants for aphids before planting; use tolerant varieties if available; reflective mulches such as silver colored plastic can deter aphids from feeding on plants; sturdy plants can be sprayed with a strong jet of water to knock aphids from leaves; insecticides are generally only required to treat aphids if the infestation is very high - plants generally tolerate low and medium level infestation; insecticidal soaps or oils such as neem or canola oil are usually the best method of control; always check the labels of the products for specific usage guidelines prior to use.
Control: spray 5% neem seed kernal extract or neemoil 3-5 ml/litre water or spray cowurine+ipomea sloution to control sucking pests.