White flying bugs that look like cotton. In mid months, small flying bugs with white hair on their bodies appear in your yard or garden.
They have very peculiar and unique features which are fascinating so you might not want to get rid of them but instead keep them as insect pets because they’re not harmful.
Though they look like pet hedgehogs they’re actually pollen-sucking insects and can be a pest.
White Flying Bugs That Look Like Cotton
So, you’ve heard the news: white fluffy little bugs with grey fuzzy tails that coo and squeak are now in your garden.
They look like something out of a children’s television programme or the plot of a fantasy film about elves! Woolly aphids really are strange animals, just take one look at them and you will be astonished!
Woolly Aphids live outdoors but they aren’t as scary as they might seem. They will only come indoors if you transport them in on potted plants: if that happens you could have aphids all over your house.
So it is important to make sure none of their eggs get introduced into the inside of your home by washing the potting soil off good before reintroducing it back to your garden.
A surprising fact is that woolly aphids don’t do anything harmful; they don’t eat healthy leaves although some naughty ones enjoy sucking up sap from softer flimsier stems and branches which causes harm to seedlings.
Lifecycle Of Woolly Aphids
After laying their eggs in the cracks on the host plants’ branches during the months of January to February, adult woolly aphids remain dormant for most of the year.
Female aphids develop their wings within three weeks after hatching from their eggs; at this point they also start searching for other plants to infest as survival of the fittest is a must for these insects.
The adult lifespan of woolly aphids is only one month; though it may be longer if no new genotypes reach maturity by then.
For this reason, they lay eggs near their hibernation spot (nearby broken branches) before returning to sleep during those four to five months till April and May, when they once again hatch out carrying on with their cycle.
Shape And Size Of Woolly Aphids
Woolly aphids may be confused for a white cotton ball at first glance. However, study a little closer and one will easily find the tiny antennae located on each side of their heads in the shape of little horns sticking out from one side along with their black eyes (unlike miniature spiders), and rounded purpleish-black abdomens that have brightly colored dots running down the center.
Sitting several feet off the ground on leaves, buds, and sometimes even pieces of green leafy material such as grasses or chunks of bark, woolly aphids are clearly visible to help you identify them.
How you can Get Rid Of Woolly Aphids?
According to the University of Minnesota, lacewings, ladybugs and wasps are some of the predators of woolly aphids. Inviting them in your garden is one way of controlling these tiny pests.
You can also use soapy water or essential oils to get rid of woolly aphids if they infest plants in your yard but like bees and wasps, this isn’t particularly effective.
University experts also recommend waiting for spring when flowers blossom in order to hire a professional landscaper to get rid of woolly aphids once and for all!
Apart from woolly aphids there are many other types of tiny white bugs on your plants that look like dust -these are all outdoor bugs, not indoor ones.
Are woolly aphids capable of biting?
No, woolly aphids don’t bite humans or pets despite having needle-like mouthparts. However, most of them die when the weather turns cold so their numbers considerably go down during winter.
Their mouthparts are too weak to penetrate the human skin and usually they do not land on people or pets inside houses.
White flying bugs that look like cotton. The white flying bugs that look like cotton are woolly aphids. In the summertime when the weather conditions are hot, these insects will appear on your plants. Woolly aphids are plant pests but they don’t cause severe damage to plants . When their numbers increase you’ll have some visibility of infestation signs such as curled yellow leaves and reduced growth in your garden.
You won’t need to worry about naturally occurring predators because those who prefer eating woolly aphids will quickly take care of them for you like wasps and bees. If you have a problem with a large population of woolly aphids then it’s best if you hire a pest control service that focuses on getting rid of these types of plant pests.