When we consider the natural relationship between all living things, we realize the foundational importance of the insect world. In one square yard of soil and plants in the average Pacific Northwest garden, there can be approximately 2,000 different types of insects functioning as part of a highly complex web of life. From a purely ecological point of view, there is no such thing as a “pest”.
However, when the leaves and buds of our rose bushes are twisted and deformed or our ripening cabbage has layers of aphid stuffing between the leaves, we are inclined to interrupt this natural progression of things.
There are more than 4,000 different aphid species in the world. Each separate species is specific to certain host plants. Aphids are soft-bodied, sucking insects that are an important food crop for many beneficial insects. It is good to have some aphids in the garden, and they are easily controlled when the number get too high or they take up residence where you do not want them. To learn more about aphids and natural controls, visit our Expert Advice Article: The Aphids are in Bloom!