What are greenflies? Greenflies are simply another name for aphids – tiny pests that wreak havoc in gardens and farms around the world. If you’re from the United States, you probably refer to the tiny monsters as aphids, while gardeners across the pond know them as greenflies, blackflies, or whiteflies, depending on the species.
Now that we’ve sorted out the difference between greenflies and aphids, (there really is no difference), let’s consider a few aphids and greenfly facts. In some areas of the world, greenflies, or aphids, are known as plant lice, which is an appropriate name for the tiny bugs that gather en masse on leaf joints or the underside of leaves. The eggs usually hatch in early spring and immediately get busy sucking the sap from tender, new growth. As the weather gets warmer and the greenflies sprout wings, they are mobile and able to travel to new plants. What do greenflies do to plants? If they aren’t controlled, they distort the appearance of the plant and can considerably stunt plant growth and development. Although they are rarely deadly, they can seriously weaken the plant if left uncontrolled. Ants and aphids have a symbiotic relationship in which ants gobble up the sweet sap, or honeydew, that aphids leave behind. In turn, the ants ferociously protect the aphids from predatory insects. In other words, ants actually “farm” the aphids so they can dine on the honeydew. An important aspect of aphid greenfly control involves monitoring and controlling the ant population in your garden. The sticky honeydew also attracts sooty mold.
Greenfly Aphid Control
Regular application of insecticidal soap or neem oil is also an effective greenfly aphid control with little risk to beneficial insects. However, don’t spray plants when good bugs are present. Avoid pesticides, which kill beneficial insects and make aphids and other pests more resistant.
Gardening tips, videos, info and more delivered right to your inbox!
Sign up for the Gardening Know How newsletter today and receive a free download of our most popular eBook "How to Grow Delicious Tomatoes."
A Credentialed Garden Writer, Mary H. Dyer was with Gardening Know How in the very beginning, publishing articles as early as 2007.
Pantone’s Color Of The Year 2024 Is A Gardener’s Dream – Discover 7 Flowers That Are ‘Peach Fuzz’ Perfection
The global authority on color has spoken, and 'Peach Fuzz' is the shade we'll all be seeking out in the coming year. Find out why this gorgeous pinky orange deserves a place in your garden, and be inspired by our top flower picks
By Melanie Griffiths Published
15 Garden Trends To Avoid in 2024: Experts Warn Against These Outdated Designs
Garden trends come and go. We asked gardening experts to share the outdated trends that should be retired – and what you can do instead.
By Melanie Griffiths Last updated