Recognize the problem
Aphids are small insects with soft pear-shaped bodies and long slender mouthparts that they use to pierce stems, leaves, and other tender plant parts and suck out fluids. They have long legs and antennae and may be green, yellow, brown, red, or black depending on the species and the plants they feed on. Aphids weaken and destroy plants by sucking out the sap from leaves, stems and fruits. Plants attacked by aphids have yellow leaves with black droppings. They will begin to wilt and die slowly. Aphids may also transmit viral and bacterial plant infections.
Aphids are a real threat to many vegetable crops in Bangladesh and cause a great deal of damage to the crop. They reproduce very quickly and almost every plant has one or more aphid species that feed on it, so there are numerous sources of aphid infestations. Many aphid species are difficult to distinguish from one another; however, management of most aphid species is similar. On the positive side, aphids are the prey of wide array of natural enemies, so encouraging them in and around your field is key in aphid management.
Eco-friendly, organic methods for removing and discouraging aphids will help to keep the garden healthy, as well as ensuring that beneficial insects and natural predators of aphids are not also damaged.
- Keep plants well irrigated and apply balanced doses of fertilizers, but avoid excessive applications of nitrogen fertilizer, which may promote higher populations of aphids
- Use of yellow sticky traps to monitor aphid infestations.
- Spray Neem-based pesticides e.g. Bio-neem plus 1EC or Fytomax 3EC @ 1ml/litre of water.
- In case of severe infestation, Malathion (e.g. Syfanon 57 EC, Malataf 57 EC etc.), @ 1 ml /L of water can be sprayed.
- Spray should be applied only to the infested portion of the field.
When using a pesticide, always wear protective clothing and follow the instructions on the product label, such as dosage, timing of application, and pre-harvest interval.