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Deal with aphids organically: Method 4
Deal with aphids organically: Method 3
Deal with aphids organically: Method 2
A sap-sucking insect that forms dense colonies on the soft young growth of many plants. These insects begin to emerge in the spring and can be found on the flowers and leaves of Hellebores. A clear, sticky secretion maybe evident near sights of infection. This is known as honeydew which is a byproduct from aphid feeding behaviour.
Sugary honeydew can result in the formation of black-sooty moulds.
Aphids are eaten by a range of insects.
These aphids are soft-bodied, reaching 2mm long. They are white to green in colour, sometimes forming large colonies beneath the leaves of hellebores. Adults can be winged, or wingless. This is because females are able to change their mode of reproduction to suit the current conditions. Nymphs are generally smaller in size, lacking wings.
Dense groupings of the aphids can rapidly develop on the underside of the hellebores leaves. The aphids can form mutually beneficial relationships with ants, which eat the sugary honeydew that aphids excrete. Ants will protect aphids from predators and this can enable aphid populations to expand quickly. A black-sooty mould may be evident near areas that are infected. Sticky clear honeydew may be evident on the plant foliage. Heavier infestations may result in plant wilting. Plants can recover from infestations in most cases.
They are concentrated to Southern parts of the UK.
The introduction of ladybirds, hoverfly larvae, lacewing larvae and several parasitic wasps in a garden situation will reduce numbers. This can be done by planting pollinator-friendly flowers, and the use of insect hotels. It's advised to research carefully, as many commercially-bought hotels can be more harmful than good.
If a chemical option is sought, check with your local garden centre and please take care to follow the manufacturers' instructions. Check with your local regulating body for guidance on active ingredients and their authorisation for use. Flowering plants should not be sprayed due to the high risks they pose to pollinating insects.