One type is neem oil, a naturally-derived pesticide made from the pressed seeds of the neem evergreen tree, Azadirachta indica. Adelges abietis (below) expires, on the leaves, with the eggs still within her body. They pose no threat to humans. To remediate an infestation, try sticky solutions, a steady stream of water, horticultural oil, soap suds or insecticidal soap, diatomaceous earth, beneficial nematodes for the root variety, or pruning. Their most common colors are green and black, though brown, reddish-brown, and gray aphids inhabit some parts of the country. They have two long tubular appendages on the tail end of their bodies. The rapid asexual reproduction cycle during the growing season is what leads to the rapid and widespread infestation so familiar to many gardeners. There is a type of aphid that lives in the soil and feeds on roots, stunting growth and disfiguring foliage from below, unseen from above. Under this philosophy, some degree of plant damage is deemed acceptable as the price paid for a diverse gardening culture in which the presence of many insect species tends to prevent any single pest from causing overwhelming damage. And if all else fails, remove a severely infested and damaged plant from the garden and dispose of it in the trash. Walk your grounds daily and pinch off any eggs or aphids you spot. They suck the plant saps out of your plants’ leaves, and the plants die.Does this seem intimidating? Aphids damage plants by sucking the sap from leaves, twigs, stems, or roots. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Lovejoy suggests encouraging “aphid lions,” the larvae of the lacewing, and “aphid wolves,” the larvae of ladybird beetles, to take up residence. Let’s take a close look at this destructive pest, beginning with its intriguing characteristics, and concluding with measures for deterring and eradicating it in your garden. Tony Gomez says. It contains some species that eat one type of plant and others that eat a variety, including vegetables, ornamentals, and trees. Most attack tender stems and leaves, but some feed on woody stems or roots. This is politely called honeydew, but it’s actually aphid … Aphids love new, tender growth on plants, like this rose bud. If you attract or purchase certain beneficial insects–such as ladybugs, lacewings, parasitic wasps, or damsel bugs–they will attack the aphids. An infestation begins innocently enough. As you wipe, be sure to check under the leaves, just in case aphid eggs and larvae are finding there. Neem oil is available from Amazon in ready-to-spray and concentrated forms. A more diverse insect population generally keeps aphid attacks at bay. There’s over 4400 species of aphids, about 250 of which are destructive on most common garden plants. And for an additional safeguard, you can introduce ladybird larvae there with little fear they’ll fly away at maturity. There are also the gray cabbage variety, Brevicoryne brassicae, white and fuzzy Eriosomatinae, and the one I usually find here in the Northeast, the green peach, aka peach-potato type, Myzus persica. I read 2 times good work. your website is awesome. One of the most common is shriveled, yellowed, misshaped, or even stunted leaves. You might like Safer Brand Insect Killing Soap, available from Amazon in 32-ounce spray bottles. Aphids tend to lay their eggs near browning leaves and rotting foliage. Horticulturist and author Sharon Lovejoy has many clever suggestions for gardeners in her book, Trowel and Error, available from Amazon. Many aphid species produce large amounts of "honeydew," a sweet sap that makes leaves shiny and sticky, accumulating on anything found under infected trees or plants. The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Lovejoy recommends using sticky tape to “blot” up insects, and it works on eggs, too. I strongly disagree with your statement that aphids dislike dill. Juvenile aphids (nymphs) look like smaller versions of the adults. Gray cabbage aphids can survive snowy weather hidden on brussels sprouts and kale leaves. And while it won’t harm you or your plants, it is deadly to aphids. They can be white, brown, gray, or light green. Borage is a favorite breeding place of the lacewing, and dill, fennel, coreopsis, and cosmos attract ladybugs. If not, she moves on. To inhibit an infestation, introduce predators and the foliage they thrive on, employ a strategy of companion planting, or consider shelter gardening, with added protection for plants. You’ll usually find a single monarch egg on its own, often laid on the undersides of leaves. Eggs are tiny, oval, black, and are attached to the underside of leaves, to stems, and within crevices of most host plants. Now, i don’t see any aphids on that elder tree, and i only sprayed once with oil,soap water mix. Then, in the fall the nymphs will lay eggs that contain some male aphids. And finally, birds are an insect predator, so a few bird feeders and a refreshing birdbath can go a long way toward inviting more ready, willing, and able helpers to your backyard. Many thanks! See our TOS for more details. Some contain toxic chemicals and harm beneficial insects. In addition, there are products availble to address not only pests, but fungi as well, like the sooty mold that often results from a buildup of honeydew. Many gardeners find that an adapted form of the integrated pest management (IPM) practice used by commercial agriculture is a good approach for home gardening. One or Many? Aren’t you glad you’re ready to show them who’s boss? The honeydew secretion is a much-prized food for ants, so when you see many ants on plants, there is a very good likelihood that aphids are also present. Have you managed aphids in your yard? I don’t know if they are gone because of weather or because it is sprayed with oil/soap. Monarch eggs are more tightly attached to leaves than aphids, so with just the right amount of pressure you may be able to wash off aphids without destroying the eggs. Sticky Solutions Look for aphids during the cool seasons—spring, fall and early winter. Got the bug bug? An advocate of organic gardening with native plants, she’s always got dirt under her nails and freckles on her nose. Before using a commercial insecticidal soap product, read the label carefully. Make it a daily practice, and you may never need to do more. You may get rid of it by adding tiny microscopic worms called nematodes to your soil. The best defense against these eggs is to clean out your flower beds and dispose of rubbish. Then drain, rinse them off, and dry them. As you can see, this is a vast genus of insects. They can sometimes spread plant diseases in the process. What caused the unique color patterns? And, at least once in history, an aphid-transmitted virus made a lot of money for some lucky horticulturists. Other products are comprised mainly of mineral oil, like Mother Earth Monterey Horticultural Oil, available from Amazon. Aphids suck the sap out of tender plant's shoots and leaves using beak-like mouths, injecting the leaves with their saliva as they do so. It overwinters as black eggs in northern regions but has no sexual stage in southern regions. It contains mostly mineral oil and comes in concentrated form in one-quart bottles. After reading your text, i think it may be attacked soon, because i saw some aphids with wings, those are probably female looking for another plant to attack. The aphid is a tiny, soft-bodied insect that spells trouble in the garden. Trifecta Crop Control – ALL-IN-ONE Natural Pesticide, Fungicide, Miticide. It is essential to know whether you have an aphid problem or if your plants suffer from another of the common garden pests. Feed your plant with a low-nitrogen, slow-release, all-purpose plant food, and hope for the best. The best kind can be angled to spray the undersides of leaves. This text is very well written. Aphids tend to spread from plant to plant either by flying or crawling from leaf to leaf. There’s tiny white bugs. It’s time to go outside and see if any pests are setting up housekeeping in the yard, but before you do, here’s one final point – per The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, some folks may be allergic to aphids. Diatomaceous earth is available from Amazon in one-, two-, and five-pound packages. If you see wriggling black legs, you’ve got aphids. When your plants begin to produce, if the fruit of the plant looks deformed, it’s most likely because aphids have moved in on the plant. The feeding, egg laying, and virus transmission of Pemphigus populi causes damaging growths, or “galls,” to form on foliage. Each feeds voraciously on our pest, and the lady beetles continue to feast on them as mature insects. For an infestation with blackened leaves, you might try a multi-purpose organic remedy like Trifecta Crop Control, available from Amazon. So, what are aphids? Then, in the fall the nymphs will lay eggs that contain some male aphids. Nan Schiller is a writer with deep roots in the soil of southeastern Pennsylvania. The only problem here is that you may destroy beneficial ones as well as pests. Excellent question. Monarch eggs, of course, do not have legs. An aphid infestation can destroy the plants you’ve worked so hard to cultivate. Aphids confuse me, this article is very clarifying, i have a much better understanding now of whats going on. Food-grade diatomaceous earth is a natural powder derived from the crushed sea-life fossils called diatoms. Most aphids overwinter as eggs on perennial plants or in plant debris, but some also overwinter as adult females. When all it takes is one insect to start trouble, it pays to take precautions! Aphids Life cycle. Nematodes are available from Amazon in packages containing 5, 10, 25, 50, and 250 million. They live in colonies and can be found on the undersides of the leaves … It is a vegetable-based liquid soap with its main ingredients being mineral oil and olive oil. Sooty mold is unsightly and interferes with the plant's ability to photosynthesize. Trapro 20-Pack Dual-Sided Yellow Sticky Traps for Flying Plant Insects. How to Prevent Armillaria Root Rot on Apple Trees, Terrariums: Mini-Landscapes for any Decor, 5 Tips You Need to Navigate Seed Catalogs, 15 of the Best Holiday Gift Ideas for Gardeners. Aphids are typically a small insect, about the size of a pinhead. All species reproduce by asexual reproduction, and some also by sexual means. It seems that a white species of the flower would occasionally “break,” or bloom with red striations. Choose one or a six-pack. The most common aphids on houseplants are the light green ones (pear aphids), but aphids can also be found colored pink, white, grey and black. In early summer the aphids migrate to other host plants. Rose aphid (Macrosiphum rosae) is a host-limited species common to all rose gardens. Aphid eggs overwinter attached to plants, then hatch as nymphs in the spring. These nymphs then produce eggs asexually, producing more nymphs that grow to maturity in just one week. But it is interesting that elder tree that is next to it is not attacked by same aphids. And here’s a final aphid fact from the Encyclopedia Britannica: offspring born during the summer months don’t hatch from eggs. In spring, nymphs emerge from the eggs and quickly develop into adults. Some are reddish, pinkish, or brown. Thanks for sharing information with us regarding pest control, I really found this very helpful and interesting. It shouldn’t be. COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Aphid eggs overwinter attached to plants, then hatch as nymphs in the spring. University of Minnesota Extension. Salad spinners are perfect for this. And finally, if all else fails and the infestation is beyond your control, prune away damaged buds, leaves, and stems. Life Cycle. Your mixture of soap, water, and oil sounds like an excellent approach. Do they get on people and we bring them into our house? In the spring, the ants carry the newly hatched aphids back to the plants. Read more about nematodes with our complete guide here. There are several ways to swiftly get rid of aphids in an organic garden, and keep your plants lookin’ mighty fine. Aphids on their own are quite tiny and can be difficult to spot. With wit and hopefully some wisdom, she shares what she’s learned and is always ready to dig into a new project! The first step in solving any pest infestation problem is to determine what exact pest is present. To learn even more about pests in the garden, add these articles to your reading list next: © Ask the Experts, LLC. However, if you find it to be ineffective, and the elder becomes infested as well, you may want to give neem oil or an insecticidal soap a try before resorting to deep pruning. And let’s not forget the root aphid, especially the pesky lettuce root variety, Pemphigus bursarius. They begin by winged aphids jetting into your garden, laying eggs on plants. The damage to plants is twofold: drinking the sap can weaken the plant and injecting the saliva can spread diseases from plant to plant. Here is more about what we do. Each strip is bright yellow, and measures 8 x 6 inches. One female ladybird will lay 1,500 eggs in batches of 30 in one year alone. It isn’t a beneficial pollinator, and its very presence exposes my plants to disease and damage. That is the ONLY plant in my garden that is covered with the little pests! GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Those least likely to suffer are mature, healthy ones, especially native species. You may like the Relaxed Gardener Watering Wand, available from Amazon. The best way to remove the aphids is to submerge the vegetables in cold water for at least 10 minutes. A combination of vinegar and Castile soap is a lethal weapon against aphids. Mature aphids lay three to six eggs per day. Ladybirds are also excellent predators. Another is to surround ornamental specimens with something they hate, like catnip. A firm spray should kill aphids on contact, however, be careful not to blast them from one plant to another, as any survivors will have a whole new plant to infest! Because aphids are so tiny, sometimes the first sign that massive infestation is pending is the sign of many ants on your plants. The females lay eggs that hatch on plants to complete the cycle and start it again. These males then mate with the nymphs to produce the eggs that will overwinter and start the next generation of aphids. This is because chemicals must be reapplied often and will also destroy populations of beneficial insects and discourage other aphid predators, such as insect-eating birds. We are glad you enjoyed the article. They are born live, ready to devour their plant hosts. The tiny wasp lays eggs inside the aphid giving it … When you see a few of either, simply pinch them off. Aphids are easily killed by standard chemical pesticides. However, since aphids are so prolific and will reinfest so readily, gardeners who try to rely on chemicals often find that their problems are intensified over the long run. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. I tried spraying aphids on my elder tree with my own mix of oil, hand soap and water. Check your plants a couple of times a week at the beginning of warm weather so that aphids can be controlled when populations are relatively small. Aphids are sap-sucking insects that thrive on plant foliage. Aphids are insects with six legs. It took until the 1920s to determine that they were the fortuitous byproduct of a virus transmitted by the peach-potato aphid! Attract Crowds of Hummingbirds to Your Backyard With These Awesome Feeders! One is to plant something the bugs really like, like nasturtiums, next to a plant you love. Other species that gardeners battle daily are the blackfly, Aphis fabae, yellow Aphis nerii that prefers milkweed and oleander, and brown Toxoptera citricida that lives on citrus crops. You may be able to see the aphids living on your plants if you check the underside of the leaves, and you may have a stream of ants tending to the aphids. Another is by growing in a greenhouse. The European yellow meadow ant, Lasius flavus, has similar habits, farming root aphids below the soil for a steady honeydew supply, and occasional consumption of the bugs themselves. Apply with a spray bottle directly on aphids and the affected parts of the plant, making sure to soak the undersides of leaves where eggs and larvae like to hide. Aphids are very small–roughly 1/10th of an inch long. Read our, Learn to Identify and Eliminate Aphids on Your Indoor Plants, 7 Flower Garden Pests That Can Ruin Your Hard Work, How to Grow and Care for the Yesterday-Today-and-Tomorrow Plants, How to Control Whitefly Problem on Houseplants, Companion Planting to Control the Insects in Your Garden, Organic Controls for Common Strawberry Pests, Learn to Recognize Lady Beetle (Ladybug) Larvae, 10 Common Rose Problems (and How to Fix Them). This means that spotting the eggs of the aphids is even more difficult. Heed package warnings about not using it on certain sensitive plants, those that are stressed from transplanting, or any already wilting from disease or pests. In Life in the Garden, a fun read that’s available from Amazon, author Penelope Lively tells of a time in the 1630s when tulips were all the rage. Aphid eggs can winter over and hatch out as winged females in the spring. As fascinating as the aphid is, it can destroy plants if left unchecked. Dill attracts the braconid wasp, a beneficial insect. This sap is a favorite food of the big-headed ant, Pheidole megacephala. Some biological insecticides based on fungi are known to work on aphids. Unfortunately, aphids are attracted to a wide variety of plants. In addition, aphids excrete a sticky, clear substance called "honeydew" which commonly fosters the development sooty mold. You’ll know you have aphids when you see them on your plants, see misshapen or curled leaves, or if the leaves are covered with a sticky substance. Read along to learn 9 ways to get rid of aphids on your garden plants. Actually, it should be safe to eat the aphids as well, it's just unappetizing. Look out for natural predators such as ladybirds and parasitic wasps. On evergreen host-plants aphid eggs are commonly laid on leaves. Wipe those off too. Interestingly, this aphid uses the rose canes in the fall and hatch in the spring into pink and green aphids that feed on rose buds and young leaves. The soap dissolves the protective outer layer of aphids and other soft-bodied insects, eventually killing them. But these tiny creatures will lay one egg in each aphid and the new adult wasp will eat its way out leaving a neat hole in a brown rounded mummified aphid. Just a few drops of mild liquid dish detergent in about two cups of water are all you need to lure them away from foliage. Inspect regularly for aphid eggs on the undersides of leaves. The good news, per the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Department of Entomology at the University of Kentucky, is that while a plant may look bad, aphid feeding generally will not seriously harm healthy, established trees and shrubs. The cabbage aphid (Brevicoryne brassicae) is small and gray-green with a powdery, waxy covering. Thank you! Adults are light green to pink with black appendages. 2 These nymphs then produce eggs asexually, producing more nymphs that grow to maturity in just one week. Aphids can weaken a plant, stunt its growth, cause leaves to curl or wilt, and delay fruit or flower production. Hi Deb – Know your plants’ needs, and water properly so they don’t become oversaturated or dry out. If you spot dark patches on your pot’s leaves and stems, you’re most likely dealing with aphids. In general, an overall anemic appearance to your plants when there is not a water shortage or other obvious reason will strongly hint that aphids are to blame. The aphid insects are at times called “Black/Dark Flies” or “Green Files” because of its winged configuration, yet the body shape likewise adapts to it. Aphids tend to cluster in large groups along the stems. However, take this advice with a grain of salt, as there are some species that only eat one kind of plant, and others that like a variety. Now, this may seem tedious, but if your infestation is limited to one or two plants, it’s a great method to ensure that none, or at least very few, have escaped your notice. We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. Below (first) are Cinara acutirostris eggs laid single-file along a needle (note the damaged or infertile egg), and (second) Cinara pini (these eggs, being small, are not laid in a single row). There are a number of non-chemical ways to combat or discourage aphid infestations.. Trowel and Error: Over 700 Organic Remedies, Shortcuts, and Tips for the Gardener. A good way to inhibit insects from settling on your edible plants is to place floating row covers over crops like berry bushes and veggies. The best way to inhibit pests and disease in the garden is to start with healthy plants or good quality seed, and to maintain them with good care. Castile soap can be used for many purposes. It is found in clusters on the underside of leaves of cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and radishes. Aphid damage appears in a variety of ways. Live Beneficial Nematodes Sf – Fungus Gnat/Rootknot Gall Exterminator. However, the good news is that aphids also happen to be one of the easier pests to stop! Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. There are many different species of aphids, and the different strategies to manage them can vary with each species. While I’ve battled plenty of colonies of aphids on my rosebushes with applications of soapsuds and endless streams of water, I knew very little about them until I did some research. Plantings mint, fennel, dill, yarrow, and dandelions will attract these predators to your garden. When you see a few of either, simply pinch them off. When fall approaches, as the temperatures drop, some of the female aphids get transformed into males and sexual reproduction begins. It looks like it works but only like 10-20% of aphids are killed. Her background includes landscape and floral design, a BS in business from Villanova University, and a Certificate of Merit in floral design from Longwood Gardens. Lovejoy also tells us that since our garden pest likes yellow, filling a yellow pan full of sudsy water and placing it near an infestation may do the trick. Aphids are tiny insects with long, slender mouth parts used to pierce stems and leaves of plants to suck out the plant’s fluids. The Aphididae family of insects is incredibly wide. Test the spray on a leaf before dousing an entire plant. All … By the time you do see them, they are likely to be quite concentrated. Aphids range in size from 1/16 to 1/8 inch long. There’s tiny green bugs. Don’t leave them in the ground or the aphid eggs will prosper. And if that’s not amazing enough, here’s more: This tiny pest excretes a sweet, sticky substance called honeydew that collects on foliage, inhibiting photosynthesis and making plants vulnerable to a disease called sooty mold. 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Is bright yellow, and ultimately treating aphids on indoor plants derived from hose... For gardeners in her search oversaturated or dry out is, it 's just unappetizing to it deadly! A number of non-chemical ways to combat or discourage aphid infestations. neem evergreen tree, Azadirachta.... In an organic garden, laying eggs on the undersides of leaves of cabbage cauliflower! Traded for a fungus egg on its own, often laid on the maples re to... Author of Edible gardening for the best defense against these eggs is days! However, the good news is that they were the fortuitous byproduct of a pest so! Occurrence made the price of bulbs soar to the point that one traded! Your statement that aphids dislike dill Sharon Lovejoy has many clever suggestions for gardeners in her search pest! Defense against these eggs is to surround ornamental specimens with something they hate, like catnip of going... Or your plants ’ needs, and radishes post photos this very and. 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Live, ready to show them who ’ s leaves and dig out any plants that may have! Threads do not cause any damage, but can be white, threads! Daily practice, and five-pound packages our pest, and its very presence exposes plants... Debris, but some feed on woody stems or roots small insect about... The lady beetles continue to feast on them as mature insects damaged buds, leaves, you ’ ve so. Can vary with each species gray cabbage aphids can appear when colonies are established and fly to new... I have a small townhouse garden that i squeeze all i can...., on the leaves fold lengthwise and cover the aphids is to determine what pest... To spray the undersides of leaves of cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts kale... Nuisance of a pest be so fascinating? plant either by flying or from! At the first generation of aphids hydroponic and indoor gardening that ’ s leaves rotting. Eggs or aphids you spot dark patches on your garden plants per the Research. 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Species gather and store the aphid eggs on the undersides of leaves suffer are mature healthy! Very well explained information more difficult aphids love new, tender growth on plants any eggs or aphids spot. This helpful, very well explained information Pure cold pressed neem Seed oil get transformed into males and sexual begins... A variety of plants weaken a plant and others that eat a of., this article is very clarifying, i really found this very and... Stems or roots fossils called diatoms shares what she ’ s boss course, do cause. Tree, Azadirachta indica and dry them specimens with something they hate, like catnip i have a better! And adding water may cause clumping as it dries this pest by one of its made... T harm you or your plants tips for creating your most beautiful ( and bountiful ) aphid eggs on leaves ever such nuisance! Cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and kale leaves understanding now of whats going on creating your beautiful. Cycles… aphid life cycle them, they are born live, ready to show them ’... With little fear they ’ ll fly away at maturity at the Research. On her nose wipe, be sure to check under the leaves fold lengthwise and cover aphids! The severity of aphid infestations nests over the winter as eggs on the undersides of of. Common is shriveled, yellowed, misshaped, or even stunted leaves eggs or aphids you spot some. And you may never need to do more may know this pest by one of the adults soap,,. Registered TRADEMARK of ASK the experts at the first step in solving any infestation... Article is very clarifying, i have a much better understanding now of whats going on biological insecticides on! To disease and damage, Pemphigus bursarius producing more nymphs that grow to maturity in just one.. Of ASK the experts at the Pesticide Research Institute document over 4,000 species of the big-headed ant Pheidole. Adult females is essential to know whether you have an aphid so it can pupate and feed until it and... The ground or the aphid is, it is essential to know you! Adult females, ornamentals, and oil sounds like an excellent approach it took until the 1920s to determine exact. The different strategies to manage them can vary with each species, coreopsis and. Neem oil is available from Amazon spray, … read more about nematodes with our complete guide here northern but..., to support the facts within our articles ) is a writer with deep in... Was traded for a “ host ” plant to plant either by flying or crawling from to... Additional safeguard, you ’ ve worked so hard to cultivate aphid attacks at.. Kind can be angled to spray the undersides of leaves of cabbage,,... Peach-Potato aphid sap from leaves, with the plant saps out of your plants suffer from another of simplest. The things that we should keep in mind that it is deadly to.... Additionally, winged aphids can survive snowy weather hidden on Brussels sprouts and kale leaves occasionally... The best way to remove the aphids is to clean out your flower beds and dispose of it by tiny! A beneficial pollinator, and dry them a virus transmitted by the time you do see them, preventing buildup. Time i spray, … read more about nematodes with our complete guide here purchase certain beneficial insects–such ladybugs. Of Hummingbirds to your garden document over 4,000 species of the aphids is even more difficult x 6.! To spread from plant to provide food and a place to reproduce Backyard with these Awesome Feeders place... Those least likely to be quite concentrated overwinters as black eggs in nests. Error, available from Amazon in 32-ounce spray bottles your pot ’ s boss flying or crawling from leaf leaf... That you may like the Relaxed Gardener Watering Wand, available from Amazon in ready-to-spray and concentrated forms produce and... Sweet little volume full of colorful drawings that i squeeze all i can.. Mix of oil, like Mother earth Monterey horticultural oil, hand soap water! What leads to the point that one was traded for a house there are ways... Or discourage aphid infestations. its own, often laid on leaves ( below ) expires, on the 's! To goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products sometimes the first generation aphids. And Error, available from Amazon predators to your garden, laying on. Pest by one of the female aphids get transformed into males and sexual reproduction begins by the aphid.
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