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Marie Iannotti

Where Do All the Aphids Come From?

By January 18, 2011

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Where on earth do all those aphids come from? Seriously, how do they find their way into our homes in the dead of winter? What were they living on until I so graciously started some seedlings?

What they lack in size, they make up in numbers. Debbie Hadley, About's Guide to Insects, says "...a single aphid could produce 600 billion descendants in one season." What chance does a gardener have against those kinds of odds? And they apparently have some type of twisted relationship with the ants, who protect them in order to get their fix of honeydew. Debbie sheds some light on these little suckers of the plant world.

Photo: rgrabe / stock.xchng.


February 7, 2009 at 9:06 am
(1) scottyblue says:

Twisted relationship….i’ll say!That’s the most fascinating thing i’ve ever read,bar none!

February 7, 2009 at 10:02 am
(2) gardening says:

I know. Especially the part about the wings.

I love reading Debbie’s stuff to get an insect’s perspective on life. It’s a tough world they live in.

February 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm
(3) Melanie says:

the best cure for aphids is to mash or grind up banana peels and pour it on the plant or on the ground around the plant. They will be gone or dead in hours.

February 11, 2009 at 8:23 pm
(4) Carole says:

Hummingbirds need about 2,000 insects a day so leave some of those protein rich aphids for them.

January 18, 2011 at 8:05 am
(5) container vegetable gardening says:

Thanks for that tip Melanie – I never knew bananas could be so useful and environmentally friendly for the garden!

January 19, 2011 at 9:37 am
(6) scottyblue says:

Carole,hummingbirds eat insects?

I’ll be darned.Never knew that.

Yup,I just read about it.That’s how they get their protein.

I’ll be darned.

January 19, 2011 at 4:47 pm
(7) gardening says:

Who knew bananas were so deadly!

January 20, 2011 at 8:06 am
(8) flower_lady says:

I not sure if I want either one in my garden. Tomato leaf and garlic, two sprays I haven’t tried.

January 20, 2011 at 12:24 pm
(9) Melissa says:

I had a nasty case of aphids on my tomato plants last summer. I will have to try banana peels if I get them again this year.

May 27, 2013 at 1:07 pm
(10) Vanessa says:

WOW! You ladies are awesome. Great advice! The aphids on my okra plants were driving me up a wall. Even threw away some. I wish I’d seen this prior. I’ve tried homemade sprays that didn’t seem to work. NOW thanks to Melanie I am hopeful & will definitely try the banana peels *_*

January 28, 2014 at 1:07 pm
(11) jon says:

hi. i appreciate all the responses. i have read a few dozen articles and blogs now about the question “where do aphids come from”? what i want to know is where does the FIRST aphid come from? is she nearby, smells the garden and walks over? is she an egg stuck to a bee that comes to visit? one article suggested they originate in mold … help. i just want to know how they get to the garden.

January 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm
(12) gardening says:

Jon, aphids are constantly moving from area to area. When a population gets too large for the food supply, they fly elsewhere. At the end of the growing season, females lay eggs in protected areas of plants, like the crevices of buds. They hatch in the spring and the hunt for food starts all over.

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