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Aphids are a common problem for gardeners and farmers, but they can also be a nuisance for homeowners who have potted plants or gardens. These insects normally live outdoors in yards and gardens, but may be brought inside on flowers, houseplants, clothing, and through open windows.

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 (a fungal disease) on plants.

Size: 1/16″ – 1/8″ (2 – 4 mm); about the size of a crayon tip

Color: Green, yellow, white, red, brown, black, or gray (varies by species)

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

  • 6 long, thin legs
  • Thin antennae nearly as long as its body
  • Small head with compound eyes on both sides
  • Tube-like mouth (rostrum)
  • Soft, pear-shaped body with a bulbous abdomen
  • 2 small, upright tubes (cornicles) projecting from the rear end (may be absent in some species)
  • Waxy or woolly appearance in some species
  • Most aphids are wingless, but winged forms (alates) may appear when crowded