Aphids, often called plant lice, are tiny soft-bodied pear shaped insects that can be black, yellow, green, or brown. Aphids are often inconspicuous until large colonies have formed. Unlike most insects, Aphids are mostly female, can reproduce without mating, and give birth to live insects not eggs. Female Aphids can produce up to 100 daughters in a lifetime and these daughters are capable of reproducing within 6-8 days of their birth. Aphids damage plants by sucking out their sap. Aphids especially like stems, new growth, the underside of leaves, & flower buds. Removing the sap from a plant causes curling and crinkly leaves & ruins flower buds. Aphids also transmit viruses from plant to plant. Like Mealy BugsSee a picture, learn to identify and treat Mealy Bugs, a houseplant pest that leaves sticky,white, cottony residue on houseplants., Aphids secrete a sticky product called “honeydew.” Honey Dew acts as breeding ground for sooty black mold and attracts ants. Aphids are difficult to see & reproduce rapidly, so check plants weekly. If aphids appear on a leather leafed plant, spray the green solutionIf you don't want to use a commercial chemical product to treat plant pest problems try the “Green Solution.” This is a mixture of water, alcohol, biodegradable liquid soap, and mineral oil. Always test any spray on one or two leaves to be sure it won’t damage the plant. Depending upon how severe the infestation is, you can use these ingredients in varying proportions. If there are only a few pests, dip a Q-tip in alcohol and gently swab them off. For a more widespread problem, start by using a spray of warm water mixed with a few tablespoons of biodegradable soap. If that doesn’t cure the problem, make a solution using 8oz. water & 8oz. alcohol, add two tablespoons of biodegradable soap and two tablespoons of mineral oil. Spray all areas of the plant. Use this solution on leathery leafed plants (except palms), never on fuzzy leafed plants like African Violets or Begonias. For palms, omit the alcohol from the Green Solution. Never spray a plant that’s sitting in the sun or one with very dry soil. or Neem OilLearn about Neem Oil, a natural, organic, non-toxic product for treating houseplant insects and diseases.. For furry leafed plants spray with a mixture of warm water, a few drops of mineral oil, & a few drops of liquid dish soap. Live lady bugs also do any excellent job of getting rid of aphids and many other insects.