Yellow Bugs on Clinging Vines

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A vine climbing over a fence or arbor adds dimension and beauty to your garden. Most vines such as clematis, honeysuckle or passionflower are easy to maintain with a little pruning and proper winter care. Few plants are immune to insect invasions, however. If you spot small yellow bugs lingering on your vines, you probably have aphids. Although they can cause damage, you can control aphids without using harsh chemicals.

Identification

Aphids rarely appear as a single insect. Instead, these apple seed-sized pests group together especially on younger branches of your vine and near flower buds. Most aphids have a yellowish tint to their bodies or are completely yellow, but some are more green, pink or even black. The aphids secrete a dew-like substance that is sweet and attracts ants. If you notice a vine that isn't thriving, a sticky liquid on or near the plant and ants nearby, look closely at your plant for aphids.

Control - Beneficial Creatures

Aphids are a favorite food for numerous insects that can be purchased from many garden supply companies. Lady beetles, praying mantis and lace wings are a few examples. Avoid spraying insecticides around your yard because it kills beneficial and pest insects. Many birds also find aphids a tasty treat so attract birds to your yard with feeders and houses.

Control - Garden Hose

A simple but efficient way to get rid of aphids is to give the affected areas of your vine a blast of water from the garden hose. Position the hose near the aphids and turn on the water. The aphids will wash away and drown. Make sure you don't have the water on too high or you can damage your plant. Do this early in the day to allow the plant enough time to dry to avoid the growth of mildews or fungi on the leaves.

Control - Insecticidal Soap

Insecticidal soap is available at almost any garden center. The soap contains natural ingredients that work by suffocating the insect or by breaking down the insect's protective outer layer. Use the soap in a spray bottle according to the package directions and squirt away your aphids. The soap washes away or dries and won't harm beneficial insects unless you spray it directly on them.

Other Culprits

Despite its name, whitefly has a yellowish body. This insect will affect the leaves of your vine. If you have squash plants, which are also vines, watch for the cucumber beetle's small yellow eggs on the underside of the plant's leaves. The beetles themselves are yellow and black and will make a snack of your squash's leaves. Control these insects in the same way you would control aphids.

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