Calgary

'You'll get them in your ears, your nose, your mouth': Influx of aphids driving some Calgarians buggy

Thanks to Calgary's recent spate of warm, wet weather, residents may have noticed a higher number of pests flying around garden bushes and green grass. Aphids have multiplied rapidly in Calgary thanks to recent favourable conditions.

Horticulturalist Ken Fry says the pests will persist until cold temperatures arrive

Thanks to a season of plentiful rainfall, aphids have had an abundant supply of greenery to feast on this summer. (Edwin Llagan)

Thanks to Calgary's recent spate of warm, wet weather, residents may have noticed a higher number of pests flying around garden bushes and green grass. 

Ken Fry, an instructor of animal science and horticulture at Olds College, said aphids have multiplied rapidly in Calgary because of the recent favourable conditions. 

"Their reproductive capacity is such that they produce thousands and thousands of young throughout the summer," Fry said. "There's multiple generations throughout the summer, so their populations build and build and build."

According to Fry, abundant plant growth, warm temperatures and adequate moisture make ideal conditions for aphid reproduction. 

Multiple Calgarians have snapped photos of aphids swarming their gardens after recent conditions in the city have proved favourable to their reproduction. (Edwin Llagan)

The recent influx has led many Calgarians to voice their frustration with the pests, including Ian Groll, who said his garden had been infested.

"They're all over the kale," Groll said. "I mean, there's certain plants they seem to really like, and kale is one of them."

Fry said insecticide soaps could help to thin the numbers of aphids while they are wingless, but that there is no environmentally responsible way to get rid of them at this stage.

"Now that they're flying around you'll get them in your ears, your nose, your mouth, you'll inhale them," Fry said. "It's a regrettable circumstance of fall."

The only thing that will get rid of the aphids at this juncture is time, Fry said, as colder temperatures will eventually kill the pests off.

With files from Colleen Underwood

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.