Cabbage aphids can be a pest and a threat to a garden. They are capable of destroying plants quickly and can make for a difficult gardening experience. To understand how to get rid of cabbage aphids, it is important to first understand the life cycle of cabbage aphids as well as understanding their damages.
In this article, I will go over the life cycle of cabbage aphids, their damage, and how to get rid of them.
What Is A Cabbage Aphid
Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects that live in colonies on plants. They feed on the juices of plants and cause them to wither and die. Aphids can be green, yellow, brown, or black. Cabbage aphids are found on plants of the cabbage family, such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. They sometimes attack nearby plants of related families.
When you see these pests for the first time they can be easily confused with other similar-looking insects that do not cause damage to plants. If you look closely at their body shape you will see that they have a small waist (petiole). Two tubes or cornicles project from the rear of their abdomen and can be seen peeking out from under their wings. These tubes secrete a sweet substance called honeydew which is what attracts ants in search of an easy meal.
Cabbage Aphid Life Cycle Stages
The cabbage aphid life cycle has four stages of development. The crawler stage, the adult stage and the eggs and pupae. The crawler stage is when an infestation begins, most notably in the spring. Also called the first instar, the crawler stage is very similar to a caterpillar but it has a pronounced head and short tail. If you notice any green aphids, they may have a peach or orange coloration (they can also be black).
They are an inch long and have six legs. These aphids are incapable of reproducing. The second stage is called the second instar so it only lasts for one day. The aphid becomes an oval shape with long antennae and legs. Adult cabbage aphids in this stage are wingless but capable of self-fertilization through sperm transfer. The third stage is called the third instar or prepupa and lasts about three days after eggs are laid.
How Cabbage Aphids Reproduce
Cabbage aphids are a type of soft-bodied insect that are easily recognizable by their small size as well as their green scaly appearance. Cabbage aphids reproduce through the act of producing a large number of offspring via parthenogenesis. Female cabbage aphids produce eggs without mating with males, this is known as parthenogenesis, and these eggs move from the female to other parts of the plant and hatch when they reach an environment that is most conducive for the survival of young.
What Do Cabbage Aphid Eat
Cabbage aphids eat tiny plant parts called phloem. In addition to that, they are also known to feed on a variety of plant species, such as members of the cabbage family and related plants such as broccoli and cauliflower. Cabbage aphids are shipped worldwide as pests to eradicate. Besides, they are also highly resistant to various kinds of chemicals such as pyrethroids, organophosphates, and insecticides.
Cabbage Aphid Damage Symptoms
Cabbage aphid damage symptoms include the removal of young plant tissues by aphids, stunting of growth, curling and distortion of leaves, and deformed (galled) blossoms. In severe cases, plants may die.
New leaves and tender shoots become distorted, singly or in whorls, as a result of the attack of black-green, greenish-yellow and pinkish soldier aphids (Family Aphididae) on cabbage (Brassicaceae). The medium-sized soldier aphids (1/16 to 1/8 inch long) are wingless and have a black body with green stripes on the sides. The tiny individual is usually found together on the undersurface of new blades. The large brown aphid with green stripes is an unwinged female (usually forming galls on cabbage plants).
How Can You Treat Them?
1) Remove aphids from the plants;
2) Spray aphids with soap solution;
3) Use a systemic insecticide.
Also, some plants have natural predators such as ladybugs that eat aphids.
If those pests are too many, use predatory insects such as lacewings, parasitic wasps, and predatory beetles to supplement the natural predators.
If you prefer not to apply pesticides, handpick aphids as they hatch and destroy them using soap solution [the best time is at night], or spray them with a registered pesticide approved for organic gardening when it rains.
What Is A Natural Way To Get Rid Of Cabbage Aphids?
Several methods are available for controlling cabbage aphids including insecticides, natural enemies, and cultural practices such as not applying excessive amounts of nitrogen fertilizer. Insecticides come in two categories; contact and systemic. Contact insecticides, also known as non-systemic insecticides, are used to kill the aphids on contact with them.
Systemic insecticides kill aphids by entering their body and reaching their target organ or structure for killing (e.g., larvae). When dealing with cabbage aphids, contact insecticides should be used only in small quantities rather than large amounts as a spray. Systemic insecticides are most effective at killing aphids when the materials are absorbed into the plant's leaves and stems.
There is an alternative way to get rid of cabbage aphids without using toxic chemicals or any spray whatsoever. That is by using beneficial microscopic algae.
The first step to any natural control strategy is to identify which type of aphids are present. Identification is important because the method of control will vary in effectiveness according to which type of aphids you are dealing with. Methods for identification include identifying the plant from which the aphids are coming, microscopic examination, and looking at photos or other records from the previous year.
How Do I Know If Cabbage Aphids Are Causing My Problem?
The cabbage aphid is a small, sap-sucking insect that's almost always found on the underside of leaves. If you find them on your plants, you'll also notice that there are telltale signs - namely, dark streaks where their legs have scraped off plant sap.
You can easily tell if you have aphids or cabbage aphids by looking at your leaves or plant parts.
Does Vinegar Kill Aphids?
It depends on what you're using it for. Vinegar can help kill aphids when the vinegar's diluted and sprayed directly on them. But if you use vinegar to control aphid populations, be careful. If the vinegar is too strong, it will kill not only the aphids but also other insects, such as ladybugs. Be sure to mix with water before spraying or dipping your plant parts in it to make sure it has a dilute enough concentration.
Do banana peels keep aphids away
No, banana peels are not a natural deterrent to pests. Although it is possible to use banana peels as traps that may keep small pests away, they will not do anything to deter larger species of insects.
Killing Cabbage Aphids With Diatomaceous Earth
HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth Crawling Insect Killer
This product will kill a variety of crawling insects by dehydration and desiccation.
A crawling insect can include but is not limited to, houseflies, fruit flies, ants, and roaches. Killing these pests will help maintain your home or office in an effortless way. The diatomaceous earth is used as the killing agent because it’s natural and safe to use around people and animals.
The pint-sized package of this 4 lb powder is perfect for keeping insects away from your home! Just spray it around or rub on surfaces where insects are often found with our applicator brush, which is included with purchase!
What Spray Kills Aphids
There is no "one spray" that kills cabbage aphids on plants. For this reason, it is important to have a variety of different tactics in your garden management plan when you are dealing with these pests. One tactic is to use an organic spray to kill them, which is what this article will discuss.
The most effective natural sprays that will kill cabbage aphids are earth soft soap horticultural oil you can get it on Amazon or any other store.
I suggest that you apply it according to the package instructions. Softsoap and horticultural oil can be made at home from soap flakes. It is easy to make soft soap with a recipe that uses 1/4 cup of soap flakes, one gallon of water, and one tablespoon of vegetable oil per liter of water. The mixture will bubble while you stir it (the chemical reaction helps get rid of the aphids).
What Happens If You Eat Cabbage Aphids
If you eat cabbage aphids, they’ll give your dog a tummy ache. This is because cabbage aphids often hitchhike on dogs when they come in contact with their food. If the dog eats the aphids, it’ll lead to a rash on its belly.
This stomach ache can be a sign of secondary infection because dogs don’t usually get stomach aches after eating just one or two aphids. It may also indicate an allergic reaction to the bugs, which means that your dog may have an allergy to cabbage aphids.
If you want to get rid of cabbage aphids from your lawn, do not spray your lawn with any chemical pesticides; this will cause more harm than good as it might also affect your garden plants and flowers as well. Also, if you use any of these pesticides on your flora or fauna, they will die due to their toxins.
The last word on how to get rid of cabbage aphids: time. Time, time, and more time. It takes patience, but cabbage aphids are a persistent pest and their numbers will grow unless you take some time to remove them. Some other ways to get rid of cabbage aphids include: feeding your plants healthy foods, removing leaves that are infested, and not watering your plants for a week or two.
Cabbage aphid control is difficult but you must try because it is important for you and the environment around you. With these steps, you will be able to get rid of cabbage aphids in no time.