Where Aphids Come From?

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:51 pm

Aphids can still occur even in the most remote places. Not only in the garden, but also on the balcony aphids can infest the plants and cause damage there. But how can such small animals actually reach such twisted plants and where do they actually come from?

The question of where the aphids come from and how they reproduce will now be answered in the following article.

The reproduction of aphids

Where Aphids Come From?

To understand where aphids come from, the life cycle should be understood. This is because the life and reproduction of aphids is quite different from that of humans, for example.

Aphids do not have a uniform method of reproduction. Rather, it depends on which generation the aphid is in and under which living conditions it lives. Thus, the method of reproduction may well vary.

The basis here is the mating of males and females. Similar to humans, offspring are produced together. After this rather familiar process, however, the interesting part follows.

For many subsequent generations are born entirely without mating of male and female aphids. The female aphids now give birth to living offspring. This is different from the first aphid generation that results from mating. Here eggs are laid from which the aphids hatch.

Depending on the species, one generation with sexually mature animals can be followed by up to 40 generations in which only the females give birth to living offspring. This process is also called virgin birth, because here there is no fertilization of the females.

This process is advantageous to aphids because very little energy needs to be invested in reproduction here, but at the same time a large number of offspring can be brought into the world.

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If the population in one place becomes too much, the aphids also develop wings, with the help of which they can fly to adjacent plants. With their own strength, they cannot cover great distances, but with the support of the wind, quite considerable distances are possible.

Whether aphids develop wings and move also depends on the environment. Interestingly, the current generations of aphids develop wings even when predators are nearby. If the population is threatened by ladybugs, for example, aphids can use their wings to reach other plants and establish new colonies there.

Where aphids come from

So the answer where the aphids come from depends strongly on the reproduction of the aphids. So it should be very surprising that in the spring after the last frost, plants were already infested with aphids.

So how can the aphids infest the garden in such a short time and where do they come from?

Although the aphid itself may be very susceptible to frost and other environmental influences, the eggs are quite resistant. The solution where the aphids come from is found in the fertilized eggs in autumn.

Here the male and female aphids mate and the fertilized eggs are laid in protected places. In the spring, the first females can then hatch and even if these are not yet very numerous, they can quickly increase the number of offspring through virgin birth.

Subsequent generations may develop wings if space on the current host becomes too tight. This allows the aphids to travel greater distances with the assistance of the wind. Thus, the aphids are transported to your garden or balcony with the wind. In this way, unfortunately, the diseases are also transmitted.

The infestation of roses

Rosen und Blattläuse

In roses, the infestation of aphids looks a little different again. Roses are more often attacked by aphids, which form a special symbiosis. This symbiosis is not directly related to roses and can occur in other plants, but in connection with the rose plants is more often observed that ants and aphids live in symbiosis.

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But what peculiarity arises here?

Attentive gardeners who want to combat aphid infestation may have often observed that roses are sometimes free of aphids and the next day are again completely covered with aphids.

This is not because aphids are so incredibly mobile that you can climb the plants effortlessly, but because you can rely on the help of another species.

Namely, ants feed on the excretions of aphids. These excretions are very high in sugar and are a welcome meal for the ants. For this reason, aphids are often kept as “pets” by ants. This means that the ants take care of the aphids, groom them and in return feed on their excretions.

The care also includes that the ants carry the aphids to the plants, or transport them to the anthill. If a danger from predators is detected, the ants are put on alert. Now they do everything they can to transport the aphids from the plants to the safe ant nest. In the anthill, the aphids can find safe shelter and spend a few days until the dangerous situation is over.

If it seems safe again outside the burrow, the aphids are carried to the plants where they can feed on the plant nectar.

Due to this phenomenon, infestations of roses may appear to fluctuate greatly. In reality, however, the number of aphids has not been reduced, but they are only in a different place for a short time.

In addition, in the spring, the roses are readily attacked by the winged aphids. Here you can start a new colony and with reproduction already in a very short time build up a huge population.

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Aphids do not seem to be very mobile and can be controlled with simple home remedies. They are very small animals, which are not very nimble. However, the reproduction proceeds according to different cycles. Thus, in spring or when a place is overpopulated, generations with wings can appear.

These aphids can then move to a nearby plant or drift over greater distances with the help of the wind. So, for example, they can be introduced from foreign gardens.

In addition, aphids also form a symbiotic relationship with ants. The ants protect the aphids and in return the aphids provide food. This symbiosis goes so far that the ants carry the aphids and transport each from the plants when danger threatens.

So if you find ants in the garden and wonder where the aphids have gone, the ants are probably the cause.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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