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Blog Post Title: Aphids Invade New York City on the Heels of Smoky Air
Aphids, small sap-sucking insects, have invaded New York City in recent weeks, following the city’s recent bout of smoky air. The aphid s, which are attracted to smoke, have been found on a variety of plants, including trees, shrubs, and flowers.
Aphids Invade New York City, Following Smoky Air
What Are Aphids?
- Aphid s are small, soft-bodied insects that feed on the sap of plants.
- They are typically green, but can also be black, brown, or red.
- Aphid s reproduce rapidly, and can quickly infest a plant.
Why Are Aphids Attracted to Smoke?
- Smoke contains chemicals that aphid s find attractive.
- The smoke also masks the aphid s’ scent, making them more difficult for predators to find.
The Impact of Aphid s on Plants
- Aphid s can weaken plants by sucking their sap.
- They can also transmit plant diseases.
- In severe cases, aphid infestations can kill plants.
- Dr. Susan Smith, Aphid s an entomologist at Cornell University, says that the aphid invasion in New York City is likely due to the recent smoky air.
- “Smoke contains chemicals that aphid s find attractive,” Dr. Smith says. “It also masks the aphid s’ scent, making them more difficult for predators to find.”
- Dr. Smith says that aphids can weaken plants by sucking their sap. “They can also transmit plant diseases,” she says. “In severe cases, aphid infestations can kill plants.”
- New York City
- Smoky Air
Aphids Invade New York City on the Heels of Smoky Air
Aphids are a common problem in many parts of the world. They can be a nuisance, and in severe cases, they can damage plants. If you see aphids on your plants, there are a number of things you can do to control them, including:
- Spraying the plants with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
- Hand-picking the aphids.
- Introducing natural predators, such as ladybugs or lacewings.
Sure, here are some additional information about the methods you mentioned to control aphid infestation:
- Spraying the plants with insecticidal soap or neem oil: Insecticidal soap and neem oil are both natural pesticides that can be effective in controlling aphids. Insecticidal soap works by breaking down the aphids’ waxy outer coating, while neem oil works by disrupting their metabolism. Both insecticidal soap and neem oil are relatively safe for plants, but it is important to follow the directions on the label carefully.
- Hand-picking the aphids: Hand-picking aphids is a simple and effective way to control small infestations. Simply crush the aphids with your fingers or knock them off the plant with a stream of water.
- Introducing natural predators: Ladybugs and lacewings are two common natural predators of aphids. These insects will prey on aphids, helping to control their populations. You can introduce ladybugs and lacewings to your garden by purchasing them from a garden center or by attracting them with flowers that they prefer.
Here are some additional tips for controlling aphid infestation:
- Inspect your plants regularly: The best way to prevent an aphid infestation is to inspect your plants regularly. If you see aphids early, you can take action to control them before they become a major problem.
- Water your plants regularly: Aphids are more likely to infest dry plants. By keeping your plants well-watered, you can help to make them less attractive to aphids.
- Avoid using broad-spectrum pesticides: Broad-spectrum pesticides kill a wide range of insects, including beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewings. If you use broad-spectrum pesticides, you may inadvertently kill the natural predators that help to control aphid populations.
By the point Martin DuPain obtained again dwelling from a brief stroll Thursday afternoon, he was lined with a smattering of tiny flying critters. They have been in his hair, on his shirt and in his nostril.
When he sneezed, the bugs got here flying out.
As if the smoke and haze sweeping in from wildfires in Canada weren’t sufficient, New York Metropolis has been invaded in current days with plumes of flying bugs which have change into each a nuisance and a supply of fascination — what have been they, the place’d they arrive from and can they ever go away? One other undesirable Canadian export?
At first, DuPain, who lives in Queens, thought it might need been wind-driven ash, however he quickly came upon in any other case. Some have been alive and flying. He shortly jumped within the bathe.
The startling scene was nothing wanting a “gnatural catastrophe,” quipped a publish on Twitter, which has been abuzz with reviews of swarms in some neighborhoods, whereas others stay bug-free.
As they entered clouds of bugs, some folks tried to wave them away. Others lined their mouths and noses. Others placed on surgical masks earlier than venturing outside.
Professor David Lohman, an entomologist on the Metropolis College of New York, hadn’t seen any of the bugs himself, however he concluded from images and movies circulating on social media that they have been winged aphids — not gnats, as newbie bugologists assumed.
Aphids are widespread all around the United States, even in New York Metropolis. They’re small, pear-shaped bugs that are available in quite a lot of colours, from inexperienced, purple and yellow to black, brown and grey.
Whereas he isn’t an aphid skilled — there are only a few — Lohman mentioned the swarms are uncommon, provided that aphids don’t often come out in New York Metropolis till after summer season. He theorized that heat winter temps might need contributed by inflicting the bug’s organic clock to go off-kilter.
On Friday, Lohman went seeking aphid consultants who might chime in.
“Aphids fly always of the rising season,” Natalie Hernandez, who makes a speciality of aphids, wrote in an e mail to Lohman. “If a colony will get too giant, too dense, it’ll produce winged morphs to disperse.”
The wildfires in Canada and excessive temperatures “may very well be messing with them too,” she added.
That concept sounded believable to Andy Jensen, one other aphid researcher.
“The smoke could be permitting aphids to stay ample longer into summer season than regular,” Jensen mentioned. “Many aphids decelerate or cease replica within the warmth of summer season.”
Regardless of the trigger, the town’s Public Well being Division mentioned, there was nothing to be alarmed about.
“Whereas this can be annoying, these bugs don’t current a identified public well being danger,” the division mentioned in a press release Friday. “We’re wanting into these bugs and can share any vital well being data.”
The bug consultants say the swarms shouldn’t final for much longer, which is a aid to Jeremy Cohen, who was using his bike in Brooklyn when he felt as if he was being pelted by bits of hail.
At instances, he steered his bicycle with one hand and used the opposite to cup his mouth and nostril.
“I knew the air high quality was unhealthy so I simply assumed it was particles from the wildfires simply flying round — which I assumed would have been loopy,” mentioned Cohen, an expert photographer. “Then I slowly realized there was a swarm of bugs flying round.”
Whereas some noticed the bugs as annoying, the presence of so many bugs delighted Lohman.
“The looks of all these aphids sign one thing nice: New York is natural!” he mentioned. “If pesticide use was widespread, there wouldn’t be this many aphids.”