Info for the Indoor Gardener

Aphids are among the most common indoor garden pests. When you find one, you usually find an entire colony. The first thing to do is correctly identify then. Then take the steps described below to get rid of them.


  • Similar to lice: often called "plant lice"
  • Colors: brown, black, white, green, yellow, orange
  • Soft bodied
  • Slow moving
  • Congregate in colonies

Aphids - Common Garden Pests


  • Prefer young, juicy new growth
  • Swarm on buds and new leaves
  • Under the leaves


  • Eggs
  • Live birth
  • Multiply in days


  • Suck juice from the plant
  • Spread plant viruses
  • Leaves curl
  • Distorted leaves
  • Misshapen buds


  • Check plants regularly for signs of destruction, mentioned above
  • Look also for sticky, honeydew-like emission
  • If you see ants, you probably have aphids: they love the sweet honeydew
  • Use a magnifying glass to examine your plants: early detection means an easy cure


  • Easy if detected in time
  • Isolate the victim, even if you have no other house plants of that family
  • Kill the hatching young (it's only fair as they kill the young buds of your plants)
  • Wash plant in shower or sink, under spray. Use insecticidal soap with the spray. Give it a final rinse to remove the soap.
  • Check every day or two after washing the plant to be sure the bugs are gone.
  • Natural Cure: If you have a conservatory or greenhouse room that's separate from your home, you can buy some ladybugs, which devour aphids. Lacewings are a similar cure.
  • Chemical Insecticides: malthion, imidacloprid, pyrethroid, diazinon, systemics
  • If the plant is heavily infested, unfortunately, you need to destroy it

For Botanists, Scientists, Outdoor Gardeners, and School Reports

  • Aphids can spread plant-specific viruses as they suck the sap from them.
  • There are a multitude of species, each with a preference for a particular family of plants. Their color tends to match their plant of choice, which helps to camouflage them.
  • Each generation lasts about two to three weeks.
  • Outdoors, these garden pests love rose buds. You often find them partying at the tips, as well as on the new leaves. I've used a garlic-and-water spray if I found them early enough, but that seemed more of a temporary fix. Cutting off the infested branches combined with an aphid-specific insecticide provided longer-lasting results.

DISCLAIMER: The Indoor-Gardener.com provides information through data research and personal experience and does not mean to recommend or refute any product used for insect control inside or outside the house. Read and follow instructions carefully as listed on all products. Indoor-Gardener.com is not responsible for use of any product or method described on these pages, nor for any possible adverse affects of such use. The legal use of chemicals for plant health can change, and it is solely the responsibility of the user of such chemicals to remain in compliance with such laws. Indoor-Gardener.com and Batya D. Wininger assume no liability resulting from the use of any information on these pages. While this website does its best to provide only the best, up-to-date information to its visitors, there can be changes and mistakes. Read labels carefully and follow instructions for use.

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