Aphids are a common problem for gardeners and farmers, but they can also be a nuisance for homeowners who have potted plants or gardens.


Multiple Species (Aphididae spp.)

Aphids are small, destructive insects that feed on plant sap. Their presence, especially in large numbers, may stunt plant growth and cause leaves to spot, curl, and wilt. The honeydew that they excrete may also lead to the growth of sooty mold on plants.

They normally live outdoors in yards and gardens, but can be brought inside on flowers, houseplants, clothing, and through open windows.


Size: 1/16 to 1/8 inch (2 to 4 mm); about the length of a crayon tip

Color: Green, yellow, red, brown, or black; varies by species

Shape: Tiny, pear-shaped body with long antennae, 6 legs, and 2 small tubes sticking out from the rear

Legs: 6 long, thin legs

Antennae: Thin antennae that are around the same length as its body

Head: Small, compound eyes on either side of its head and a tube-like mouth (rostrum)

Body: Soft, pear-shaped body with a bulbous abdomen; look for 2 small, upright and backward-pointing tubes (cornicles) projecting out from the rear end; some species appear waxy or woolly

Wings: Most aphids are wingless, but winged forms called alates may appear when a plant becomes too crowded