There are a number of common insect pests that can be recognized on-sight, either directly or by the telltale signs they leave (such as the dense webbing of spider mites).
However, many of these pests come from large families that have significant variation from one species to another.
One good example of this is the Aphididae superfamily – aphids (plant lice).
With over 5,000 known species of aphids, they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
These small pests are best known for being brown, black, pink, or red; but there are also species that are nearly translucent or green.
Green aphid species are very common but easier to miss because they blend in with the leaves they’re living on.
Here are a few examples of common green aphids that you might find infesting your plants.
What Are Green Aphids?
Green aphids are similar to most other aphid species, but their bodies have adapted a green coloration to match the types of plants they feed on.
Some common examples are pea aphids, apple aphids, and green peach aphids.
Aphis pomi is known as both the apple aphid (literal translation) and green apple aphid.
This species loves feeding on members of the rose family, including young apple trees (bet you didn’t know they were related).
Female apple aphids may have a black thorax and wings or solid green to yellowish body and no wings.
Other rose family plants these insects infest include medlar, pear trees, quince, and spiraea.
There is also a second species of aphid known as apple aphid, Aphis spiraecola.
This species is more common in the Eastern US, with a lighter greenish-yellow or green apple shade.
It’s sometimes referred to as spirea aphid and green citrus aphid targeting more than 65 different genera of plants.
Green Peach Aphids
Also referred to as greenfly or green peach-potato aphid, Myzus persicae is another green aphid found all over the world.
This species can devastate peach orchards and can breed between 10 and 40 generations in a single year.
Green peach aphids are less cold-tolerant than many other species.
Females that develop wings may develop a pinkish hue.
Green peach aphids affect a wide range of herbs and food crops, such as mustard, okra, pumpkin, and sunflowers.
Acyrthosiphon pisum has a lot of nicknames, but is best known for its preferred food, legumes and some ruffage plants.
These green aphids are often used in research and are one of the larger species of aphid.
Despite this, they tend to form smaller colonies than many species.
Pea aphids can stunt their host plants and crop yields, but the real threat to plants comes from diseases these aphids often carry.
Dealing with Green Aphids
Green aphids and their non-green relatives can harm or even kill plants if allowed to infest them.
Not only do these piercing pests drain the sap from plants, but many of the diseases they can transmit are incurable and deadly.
Therefore, it’s important to eliminate aphids as soon as you spot them and use preventative measures to keep aphids from getting a foothold in the first place.
Neem organic pesticide oil for plants is one of the best options, and can both destroy and prevent a wide range of pests without harming beneficial creatures.
You can also use insecticidal soaps or horticultural spray oil to clear the plant of aphids.
Finally, a great non-chemical solution for outdoors is to use natural predators.
These include goldfinches, Ladybird beetles, hoverfly larvae, spiders, parasitic wasps, and many other species.
Be warned that you may have to deal with ants before a predator species can assist, as ants will defend the aphids in exchange for honeydew.