Aphids are tiny, oval-shaped bugs, usually found in large infestations. There are over 5,000 known species of aphid, wow! And they can vary in colour from black and red, to yellow, green, and blue. If you’ve encountered aphids in Australia, you likely came across the blue-green species of aphid. Blue-green aphids are almost transparent, and blend into the green foliage of plants a little too easily.
Like many garden pests, aphids feed on the sap of your plants. They chomp on the foliage, then suck the precious sap from within, weakening your plant with every bite. As they feed, aphids excrete waste (honeydew) on a plant’s stem and foliage. And honeydew, unfortunately, also attracts other problems, like ants and sooty mould.
Okay, you’ve gone to admire your favourite rose bush, only to see hundreds of little green aphids covering each stem. Eek! What now? Well, you have a few options…
If you’re a naturalist, you could try manually removing the aphids. Either blast your plants with a hose or squish them between your fingers. Be thorough, though—if you leave even a few behind, the infestation will reappear with a vengeance. Or, you could introduce some beneficial bugs into the mix. Buy some lacewing or ladybird eggs online, and they’ll handle your aphid problem in no time.
If the infestation persists, try white oil or neem oil. Spray every inch of the affected plants, concentrating on the undersides of the leaves. And if all else fails, try a pyrethrum spray. Apply to every surface of the plant the same way you’d apply an oil. However, avoid spraying plants that are in direct sunlight, as pyrethrum may burn the leaves. Also, avoid applying to flowering plants, or plants popular to bees, as pyrethrum is highly toxic to nature’s little helpers.
Okay, now this is a big one. Experts say that installing a deck will often bring a 100% return, adding hundreds of thousands of dollars to the value of your home. So, not only is a deck great for quality of life, a deck can also be great for your bank account when it comes time to sell. Plus, knowing how much we Aussies love our outdoor spaces, a decked-out home is likely to entice buyers more than a home with a simple backyard.
If you’re like most people, you probably find it hard to get the ball rolling when it comes to home renos. Renovations take a whole heap of planning, organising, and waiting, all before you can enjoy the fruits of your labour. However, building a deck is usually relatively simple, requires less planning, and can often be completed within a shorter timeframe. So, if you’re the impatient type, a deck could give you that ‘renovated home’ feeling, without the extra waiting.
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