Aphids, including Macrosiphum euphorbiae and Aphis gossypii, are common pests found in glasshouses across the globe. The biggest threat posed by the small greenfly is its ability to transmit plant viruses that affect a range of economically important crops. Secondly, the aphids have a rapid reproductive rate which can lead to heavy and severe infestations. The host range of the common glasshouse aphid is extremely broad and includes fruit, vegetable and fibre crops, ornamentals and flowers.
Damage by aphids is caused by feeding whereby the sap extraction can drain plant nutritional resources quite rapidly. The aphids release secretions during sap extraction from the phloem that can contain pathogenic plant viruses that cause severe damage to the crop. Damage often manifests as curled, dried leaves with occasional yellow spots. Secretions can foster mould development resulting in crop soiling.
Reproduction in Aphids is mainly asexual and is affected by external factors such as nutritional availability, temperature and overcrowding. In glasshouses the females most often produce offspring vivaparously which will then immediately begin feeding from plant sap. Maturity occurs rapidly and winged aphids can occur when infestation levels are extremely high, enabling mobility of the pest to find new plant hosts. Aphids prefer to feed on the underside of young leaves but the entire plant can be used as a feeding point if space is at a minimum.