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Vegetable Pests - Aphids

Developed by Mark Bell, Frank Zalom, Emily Symmes, and Mark Henderson - UC Davis International Programs Office (2009) "What are Aphids? Aphids (super family Aphidoidea) are very common plant pests. The soft-bodied oval insects use their slender mouthparts to pierce plant parts (stems and leaves) and ingest plant fluids. Aphid coloration is highly variable; they can be green, yellow, red, pink, brown, or black. Aphids may be winged or wingless What is the Damage Caused? Typically only heavy infestations will cause economic loss. However, because nymphs can mature in only 7-8 days, and adults can produce up to 80 offspring per week, populations can increase dramatically in short periods of time. In addition to physical plant damage, such as leaf curl and shoot stunting, aphids are notorious for transmitting viral diseases. Crops susceptible to aphid-transmitted viruses include squash, cucumbers, pumpkins, melons, beans, potatoes, lettuce, beets, and bok choy. Aphids thrive at temperatures between 18ºC and 27ºC, but populations tend to decrease during summer months when temperatures exceed 27ºC. "

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