7th March 2022
Another potential garden pest is the aphid. There are about 500 different types of aphid in the UK, most of whom are partial to a particular type of plant: eg the mealy cabbage aphid likes brassicas, the black bean aphid likes broad beans, and the plum leaf-curling aphid likes plum trees. Whilst they can damage young leaves that one hoped to eat, they do not diminish the productivity of the plant as much as one would expect. On the other hand aphids do provide food for a large number of other insects – Lady birds, hover flies, lace wings, wasps, earwigs, and beetles. These insects themselves are a source of food for other creatures such as small birds. In other words aphids are an important part of the food chain and an important contributor to biodiversity.
The RHS recommend various ways of curtailing aphids should that be necessary – eg early in the season when there are fewer predators at hand to keep numbers in check. https://www.rhs.org.uk/biodiversity/aphid-predators