Are you noticing a swarm of flying aphids? Can Aphids Fly?
Why are aphids flying and when will this stop? What are some helpful tips to get aphids to fly somewhere else and leave your plants alone?
In this article, we’ll find out everything there is to know about flying aphids.
Can Aphids Fly?
Aphids don’t need to fly once the colony has established itself on a host plant. During growing season in the late spring and summer, newly born aphids are not going to grow wings. The winged aphids are born from eggs that hatch in the beginning of spring.
Sometimes there is a need in the spring or summer for females to select some of their offspring to grow wings in order to find a new host plant. Winged aphids only fly for a a few days and drop their wings when they find a host plant.
Are Aphids Able to Fly?
Yes and no. While you may correctly be witnessing and identifying flying aphids around your plants, this is a limited opportunity for some aphids and impossible for most others.
Most aphids simply crawl on plants. Aphids that do fly are not able to do so for a long period of time. The nymphs are aphids that are newly hatched in the spring over a long winter period. They fly to find a host plant.
Once there, the colony of aphids will not fly. They will simply feed off the host plant and create a honeydew leftover that ants love to feed on. It’s up to us to spray them off our cherished garden plants.
Which Aphids Have Wings?
Aphids with wings are called nymphs. They are not fully grown adults yet and will shed their wings once they have settled on a host plant. Not all aphids do this. Most are born on a host plant and never experience flight.
The flight only takes place when newly hatched nymphs are born after a long winter period from their eggs. Aphids born in the summer months on host plants do so with live births and not from eggs. This is what make aphids so unique.
Females can still give birth to some aphids with wings when necessary in the summer months as well when there is a need to find a new host plant. These winged nymphs will carry eggs to produce the next colony of aphids for the following year.
When are Winged Aphids Born?
Winged aphids are born mostly in the spring. This is when the colony will reach its highest amount and the infestation will be noticed on some of your favorite garden plants.
Flowers bloom at this time and host plant gives off the sap that aphids need to produce their own honeydew that ants love to devour.
Winged aphids in the spring have one job: Find a new host plant. Once they are settled in, the wings drop off. New aphids are born without wings over the summer.
Winged aphids are born from eggs produced asexually from females while wingless aphids are born live right out of their mother on host plants during the late spring and summer.
Do Aphids Keep their Wings?
No. Aphids have wings for a short time and some never have any. The wings are there for travel purposes to find a new host plant at the start of spring.
The wings are not used to escape or maneuvering around obstacles and predators. It will only take a few days for the wings to fall off. This is when the winged aphids become adults.
If they are forced to leave a host plant, some of the new offspring will be selected to contain wings so they can help find a new host plant to start a new colony.
How Do You Get Rid of Aphids Flying?
Flying aphids will eventually settle on a host plant. This will take a few days. You can spray them with a hose and blast them off plants. Your aim is to get the winged aphids to fly away and find a new host plant.
If the aphids have settled on one your own plants, they have dropped their wings or are born without them.
Now it’s time to spray the underside of leaves and stems, flowers or the entire plant to get them off. You can also use:
- neem oil
- insecticidal soaps
- horticultural oils
- dish soap and water
While they are in flight, just aim your garden hose at them and try to steer them off to another direction away from your favorite plants.
Do Aphids Fly Around the House?
Aphids do not fly indoors. They are outdoor pests who become a nuisance when they pick a host plant and infest it.
This may occur indoors if winged aphids fly into your home, but these are rare occurrences. Aphids in your home arrived from their winged counterparts who were looking to start a colony.
If you have aphids on your indoor plants, take them outside and spray them with water, neem oil or a drop or two of dish soap mixed with water to get them to fall off. Then, you can spray your plant once more with only water after 30 minutes and bring them back inside.
Why Are Aphids Flying?
Flying aphids are searching for a new place to call home. They want to find a a plant that rich in sap or nectar that they can feed off.
They will start a new colony there where many aphids will be born live, without the need for laying eggs or growing wings. This will be the growing season.
They will produce lots of honeydew secretions that other insects like ants and ladybugs enjoy. Ants like to protect aphids in order to allow them to produce more honeydew. Ladybugs and beetles are happy to eat the aphids whole.
Flying aphids are usually active at the start of spring. They are investigating the area for the best or most convenient plant to start their colony. The winged aphids are only nymphs and will live for most of their life without wings once the colony has been established.
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