By observing and inspecting the plants on a regular basis, checking especially the new shoots and the back of the leaves, we will be able to detect and identify in time the presence of insects that can trigger a pest. We must act as soon as the first signs appear to eliminate the pests in a natural and simple way.
If the presence of insects is detected when they are just beginning to invade the plants, it is easy to avoid the formation of pests, eliminating them easily with the fingers or with a sponge soaked in warm water with a few drops of detergent beforehand. In this way, we will reserve the chemical products to be used in the most serious cases.
The chemical insecticides that act by eliminating the harmful insects, are somehow also acting against their predators, so the ecological chain can be broken. Eliminating harmful animals and their predators is usually not cost-effective in the long term. When applying chemicals, always read the instructions before and take special care with children, pets, wildlife or food.
There are numerous species of these insects, in various shapes and colors. They are characterized by their two long antennae and three pairs of legs. Their colors vary between green, yellow, white, black and reddish, among others. They do not usually withstand low temperatures, and die when the first cold weather arrives, but their eggs can hibernate, perpetuating the species and giving rise in spring to new female insects that reproduce at an extraordinary speed. They form dense colonies that appear on the underside of the leaves, on the tender stems and also on the flower buds. Their proliferation is favoured by a warm and dry environment. Aphids cause serious damage to plants: they paralyse their good development, secrete a kind of molasses that attracts ants and constitutes an excellent environment for many fungi and can even cause death. However, the main problem is that they act as a vector for many viruses and diseases that are deadly to plants.
It is a tiny insect that appears on the underside of the leaves forming very dense colonies; with bites it causes yellowish spots on the leaves and their premature fall. The plants gradually lose their vigour. It also produces a sugary secretion that serves as a seat for various fungi. It is fought with systemic insecticides that are applied mainly in the inferior part of the leaves.
It is an insect almost imperceptible to the eye, which reproduces rapidly by means of eggs deposited by the females on the underside of the leaves. It appears in spring and summer, especially in times of drought or when the weather is hot and dry. It attacks the underside of the leaves by chopping and extracting food from the plant. Its presence is noticed by the yellowish spots that appear on the leaf’s face, while on the reverse side a subtle and fine reddish spider web can be seen. Plants affected by this pest become weak and sickly. The leaves curl up, dry out and fall off. It is combated with acaricides. It especially attacks carnations, roses and geraniums.