Aphids

Aphids are tiny soft-bodied insects that such the juices of plants.

During the summer, you may find the stems and leaves of you garden plants crowded with tiny pear-shaped insects called aphids.  Another name for them is “plant lice.”

Aphids are among the most common insect pests of plants.  The aphid lives only to eat.

Its mouth is shaped into a sharp beak with which the insect pierce the plant’s leaf or stem and greedily sucks up the sap.

Aphids multiply so rapidly that hardly a green plant on earth would not be infested by them if the insects weren’t gobbled up in great numbers by such aphid enemies as ladybird beetles and aphid lions.

While aphids are harmful to plans, they are useful to many ants.

Most aphids produce a sweet liquid called honeydew which some ants love to eat.  By gently storing the aphid’s back with its antennae, the ant coaxes the aphid to give off droplets of honeydew, which are lapped up by the ant. Dick Rogers

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