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Mealy Cabbage Aphids



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Mealy Cabbage Aphids

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All Year


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Caused By:-     The Aphid Species Brevicoryne brassicae

Description

The Mealy Cabbage Aphids(Brevicoryne brassicae) is just one of over 500 different species of aphids most of which are specific to one or two species of plants.
There are even aphids which attack below ground and live on the roots. These root Aphids look whitish as they are covered in a waxy secretion which protects them from the wet. They are often confused with a fungus.
The Mealy Cabbage aphid mainly attacks members of the cabbage family such as cabbage, cauliflowers, kale, rape, spinach, Brussels sprouts, turnips, broccoli, mustard, radishes, swedes and some weeds.
These aphids like all other aphids suck the sap from the plant and weaken it. The extrusion of the sugars from the sap leaves the leaves sticky and allows a black mould to grow on the leaves.
The usual symptom of their presence is distorted, weak growth of leaves and shoots.
They can be carried large distances by wind or air currents, and can transfer viruses as they move to other plants. They also survive the winter in crevices and other sheltered places.
In spring and summer only females are present reproducing asexually by giving birth to live young. In the autumn, males are produced and after mating the females lay eggs which remain through the winter in crevices. The population can double in 4 - 6 days which means they can colonise a crop in a few days.
Picture from Wikimedia Commons.
See also these other aphids Aphids, Blackfly, Cypress, Green Spruce, Honeysuckle, Juniper, Lettuce Root, Lupins, Mealy Plum, Melon Cotton, Peach, Rose, Rosy Apple, Willow Bark Aphid, Wooly.


Control

Products containing the following chemical:- Bifenthrin, Imidacloprid, Pyrethroids and Pyrethrin ingredients are all effective on Mealy cabbage aphid, but remember that these broad spectrum insecticides which will kill beneficial insects as well as aphids.
The introduction of some types of flowering daisy-like flowers, yellow flowers and in particular, the poached egg plant Limnanthes douglasii will attract natural aphid predators such as ladybirds, hoverflies, lacewings and certain wasps which will happily devour these pests throughout the year.
Physically blasting the aphids from the leaves with a jet of water is always a good way, and there are numerous organic pest control sprays available, the majority of which contain natural fatty acids which block the aphids breathing holes, causing death by suffocation. Unfortunately, these liquids can also knock out the beneficial insects you have worked hard to attract, so consider your options before reaching for the spray gun.
Netting and fleece can be used to stop the aphids spreading or getting to your plants.

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