Unwanted Floral Visitor
What's that little green bug on the head of the Gaillardia?
It's soft-bodied. It's miniscule. It's sucking plant juices.
We captured an image of this little green bugger shortly after we purchased several plants from an area nursery. It's a good idea to check your plants for aphids and other critters before you buy them or transplant them in your garden.
Gaillardia is a hearty plant, but it's troubled by aster yellows, a viruslike disease transmitted by those nasty aphids and leafhoppers.
A green aphid may look pretty on a reddish flower, but it is not your friend. It sucks plant juices, transmits diseases, and produces as many as 80 offspring within a week. Then there's that sticky, unsightly honeydew it secretes--and which ants tend.
California alone has more than 450 species of aphids, and they come in some of your favorite colors, including green, yellow, red, brown and black.
Favorite colors, but that's it. Nobody likes 'em...'cept for ladybugs, lacewings and syrphid flies...
Green aphid on Gaillardia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This is a root aphid, which measures 3mm to less than 1mm long. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)