Root aphids can be found almost anywhere in your outdoor space. They can be found on your lawn, your driveway, but they mostly dwell on potted plants. If you own a garden or potted plants, you will see a lot of these bugs.
Root aphids feed on plants by sucking out nutrients from the stem and the root. This is why when an aphid bites or stings you, you become uneasy about what a bite or sting will do to you.
To know if aphids do bite or sting is what you will learn in this article. You will also learn the effect of aphid bites on humans, if these insects can cause skin irritation and how to treat an aphid bite naturally.
Do Aphids Bite or Sting?
Before jumping into the major details, it is important to know whether aphid bites or stings. An insect that bites uses its mouthpart called mandibles to break into your skin, but this is mostly for feeding purposes.
While an insect that stings uses other body parts known as Proboscis to penetrate your skin and inject venom or poison, this is mostly for feeding and self-defense.
An aphid uses its mouthpart to pierce roots and stems to suck nutrients. So an aphid doesn’t bite; instead, it stings but not for self-defense. They only use their sharp mouth part to feed.
Do Aphids Bite or Hurt Humans?
Like we said earlier, aphids do not bite; they pierce parts of plants for feeding purposes only. Aphids do not sting or hurt humans as they are not poisonous; they don’t even chew on plant leaves; all they do is pierce and suck out nutrients.
Most aphids tend to feel on only one species of plants; only 10% of aphids feed on other species of plants. Their dwelling place is usually where they feed; some aphids feed on fruits while others feed on plants in the allium family.
Can Aphids Cause Skin Irritation?
We all know about the human skin and how fragile it is. A small red swelling forms on your skin when you get pierced by an aphid, but it usually disappears with some hours. The only problem is that this swelling later becomes a rash thatches you a lot.
Aphids are also known to burrow under the skin of humans to lay eggs. This can cause severe skin irritation like rashes, swelling, and a lot of itches. This is why people avoid going under trees that may contain aphids.
Are Green Aphids Harmful?
Yes, green aphids are harmful. Aphids pierce the roots and stem to suck out nutrients, leading to stunted growth of the affected plant. Eventually, this will lead to the plants having diseases which will later lead to the death of the plant.
.But unlike most aphids that feed on only one species of plant, green aphids can feed on various species of plants. This means they will cause more damage than regular aphids as they can move from one plant to another.
Are Black Aphids Harmful to Humans?
In the warmer time of the year, black aphids can be seen in large numbers. They feed mostly on beans and celery and can cause a lot of damage to these plants. They feed by sucking out sap from the stem and leaves from a plant.
These aphids are not harmful to humans, although they may cause skin irritation, that’s as far as it goes. Black aphids can be very bad for plants because they are a vector of 30 different plant viruses.
Should I be Worried About Aphids?
If you have potted plants, then you should be worried about aphids. After sucking out the major nutrient from a plant, they leave it short of nutrients to drop growth. The leaves will be discolored and will curl, eventually wilting.
In some cases, these aphids infect your plant with viruses like bean common mosaic virus (BCMV), bean common mosaic necrosis virus (BCMNV), bean yellow mosaic virus (BYMV), and Alfalfa mosaic virus (AMV). These viruses will slowly kill your plants, and if any plant can be saved, it will have a low yield.
Can Humans be Allergic to Aphids?
Humans can get an allergic reaction to aphids. These insects’ saliva and excretory products can cause respiratory allergies; this happens when emanations from their saliva and waste product come in contact with the human body.
Skin allergies are also a common effect. The human skin is very sensitive and will react quickly to a foreign body, and aphid piercing action can cause skin allergies. They also burrow into your skin to lay eggs, leading to serious rash and itching.
Signs you’ve been Bitten or Stung by Aphids
The only way to identify a sting from an aphid is if you saw it and felt the stinging pain. Otherwise, it can be any other insect that bit you. People who have confirmed that aphids have bitten them gave the following signs.
- The bitten area becomes swollen or red
- The affected area itches
- Itching and swelling may last for an hour or more
These are the only notable signs of an aphid bite.
Natural Aphid Bite Treatment
A bite or a sting from an aphid may not be considered serious, but it is recommended that you treat it. Here is a natural treatment for aphid bites that can be done easily at home.
- Take off any piece of jewelry in the affected area; this may be hard due to swelling
- Wash affected area with soap and water
- Ice the area for some minute
- Take off the ice for about 10 minutes
- Ice the affected area again.
It is important to know that aphids are very harmful to your plants. They are carriers of viruses that can destroy your plant; they also feed on plants by sucking out nutrients from the plant stem and root, which causes stunted growth and low yield.
Aphids don’t cause a lot of damage to humans. This is because aphids don’t bite or sting unless they are threatened. If an aphid has bitten you, wash up the affected area and use ice to reduce the swelling in this area. So if an aphid has bitten you, don’t panic; instead, you should follow these steps.
We trust this article helped you understand if aphids do bites. You may also want to check out the Difference Between Soil Mites And Root Aphids.
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