Aphids are common sap-sucking insects, they have many predators and are the basis for many food chains.  The sap sucking can cause a lack of plant vigour, distorted growth and often excrete a sticky substance (honeydew) on which sooty moulds can grow.  Some aphids transmit plant viruses.

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Mottled arum aphid on dahlia

Quick facts

Common names Aphids, greenfly, blackfly, plant lice
Scientific name True bugs (Hemiptera) in the Aphididea
Plants affected Most plants are susceptible
Main symptoms Presence of aphids, poor/distorted growth, sticky honeydew and sooty moulds
Most active Spring and summer on garden plants; all year round indoors

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