by aditya abhishek
Aphids are one of the most common agricultural pests that can be found on a variety of crops. But, you must have noticed ants whenever there are aphids, do you know why...
Ants and aphids share a mutualistic relationship, ants provide protection and care for aphids, while aphids supply ants with a sugary substance called honeydew.
Ants exhibit a behavior called "tending" whenever they interact with aphids. They stroke the aphid bodies with their antennae to encourage them to release droplets of honeydew.
As aphids are small, sap-sucking insects that feed on plant sap so as a return gift for food, ants keep aphids protected from natural predators such as ladybugs.
In some cases, this relationship goes to the next level. Ants actively "farm" aphids by moving them to suitable feeding sites and protecting them from predators.
You can control aphids by releasing natural predators such as ladybugs in the farm, they don't affect crops but will help in destroying aphids.
To control aphids organically, you can spray soap water or neem oil on your plants once after every 7 days till their population gets reduced.
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