On our last nature study…….
We discovered wooly aphids: funny little bugs with feathers behind them.
When we discovered these funny little bugs with feathers behind them, we wondered what they could be and why none of us had ever seen them before. It was obvious they liked the wood, perhaps as a food sources or a place to live. They had wings and funny little black eyes. So, awesome. A new insect to learn about.
Aphids are garden pests.
When we looked them up, these were very easy to identify, since they are easy to describe…white fluffy things. Kinda cute, but after researching I found out that they can be quite the pests. They are a sucking insect (an aphid) and when they suck from a plant they leave behind a sticky substance called honeydew which can cause plant damage. They feed on leaves, buds, roots of the plants, and even the bark, which is why we found them on a piece of wood. A waxy substance which they excrete creates the feather or wooly looking part of its appearance.
From a gardeners perspective, aphids are always bad, no matter what kind. So if you find them you need to remove them as soon as you find them. I just remove them with my fingers and the water hose. But if you don’t like that idea you can use a very diluted mixture of dish soap and water and wash them off with it.
But on a positive note, some types are amazing companions to ants and on that note is a great way to study them. See if you can find the answers to these questions:
- How do aphids and ants work together?
- What do they eat?
- What do they produce which helps ants?
The more I take time to learn about the world around me, however small, the more I feel like a part of it.
Let me help you discover it too!