What Are Oleander Aphids?

Oleander aphid is one of the most common types of insects found on milkweed plants. They are not harmful to humans, but they do cause damage to the plant’s leaves and flowers. The name “aphid” comes from Greek words meaning “insect”. Oily sap oozes out of their bodies when disturbed or touched. This substance causes allergic reactions in some individuals.

How Do You Get Rid Of Oleander Aphids?

The best way to kill these insects is to remove them with a vacuum cleaner. Dusting them off with a stiff brush will only result in further infestation. The solution is simple; use a strong insecticidal soap (such as Lysol) and water. Let it soak up the liquid for at least 10 minutes before rinsing thoroughly under running water. Then repeat until all the aphids have been killed.

Other Methods For Getting Rid Of Oleander Aphids

If you don’t want to spend money on a vacuum cleaner, there are other methods for getting rid of these pesky insects. One method is to spray the area where the aphids live with water. This will kill them instantly. Another option is to place paper towels over the affected areas and let sit overnight. If you’re really desperate, you can even try using vinegar or lemon juice on your milkweed plants!

How To Prevent Re-Infestation

If you decide to use insecticides, then it is important to make sure that you get rid of all aphids in the surrounding area (at least 1 mile away). Otherwise, they will just fly back or be replaced by other aphids. If you don’t want to remove the aphids yourself, then you can always hire a professional pest control company to do it for you.

Sources & references used in this article:

Chemical defence in chewing and sucking insect herbivores: plant-derived cardenolides in the monarch butterfly and oleander aphid by SB Malcolm – Chemoecology, 1990 – Springer

Evidence for an invasive aphid “superclone”: extremely low genetic diversity in oleander aphid (Aphis nerii) populations in the southern United States by JS Harrison, EB Mondor – Plos one, 2011 – journals.plos.org

Geographic and clonal variation in the milkweed-oleander aphid,Aphis nerii (Homoptera: Aphididae), for winged morph production, life history, and morphology in … by FR Groeters – Evolutionary Ecology, 1989 – Springer

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger: The burdens and benefits of toxin sequestration in a milkweed aphid by T Züst, S Mou, AA Agrawal – Functional Ecology, 2018 – Wiley Online Library

Asymmetry of plant‐mediated interactions between specialist aphids and caterpillars on two milkweeds by JG Ali, AA Agrawal – Functional Ecology, 2014 – Wiley Online Library

Aphids indirectly increase virulence and transmission potential of a monarch butterfly parasite by reducing defensive chemistry of a shared food plant by JC de Roode, RM Rarick, AJ Mongue… – Ecology …, 2011 – Wiley Online Library

Thermal constants for development of the pea aphid (Homoptera: Aphididae) and some of its parasites by A Campbell, M Mackauer – The Canadian Entomologist, 1977 – cambridge.org

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