Where Do Aphids Come From Anyway?

Written by Abdulmumin Akinde
Updated: October 10, 2022
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Aphids are among the prolific pests of cultivated plants. These destructive pests cause significant damage to agricultural plants, especially in temperate regions. While the aphid’s ability to cause damage to plants is well known, where do Aphids come from? Understanding the origin and lifecycle of this insect might provide insight into how to get rid of them. 

Aphids attack plants in their hundreds. Within a few days, they can suck all the nutrients from a host plant and damage it in the process. They also reproduce really fast, and without prompt care, an infestation can spread to neighboring plants. 

If you are a gardener battling an infestation, you’re probably wondering where these destructive insects came from. Maybe that might provide an insight into how to prevent them from spreading in your garden. 

What Are Aphids? 

Aphids are a group of insects that belong to the family Aphididae. There are several thousand species of tiny insects in this large family, and they all have boring mouthparts which allow them to feed on the sap of plants. 

There are up to 4,400 species of aphids, and 250 of these are considered serious pests that tend to cause significant damage to both agricultural and ornamental plants. Some of the common aphids include green apple aphids, back aphids, green aphids, potato aphids, oleander aphids, milkweed aphids, rose aphids, and so on. 

aaphids attacking leaf

Aphids consume a variety of plants for nutrients, making them a hated pest for gardeners and farmers.

©Vera Larina/Shutterstock.com

Where Do They Come From? 

There are different species of aphids found in various countries all over the world. They mostly prepare temperate zones with moderate climates. In such places, the aphid population can persist all year round. However, an infestation is typically seasonal. 

Aphids have a complex life cycle, which involves migrating from one planet to the other during different seasons of the year. This is why it seems like they just appeared out of nowhere in your garden. For instance, the primary host of the black bean aphids is typically a shrub such as spindle trees or mock orange plants. This is where it lays its eggs and overwinters. However, during the warm summer months, it moves to crops such as sugar beets, beans, and celery. 

For some other aphid species, they lay their eggs in the fall. These eggs will not hatch into larvae until springtime. A whole new generation will be born during the spring season when the eggs hatch, giving rise to a sudden infestation. 

Aphids move very slowly, which often slows down the infestation rate. Still, an infestation can spread from affected plants to nearby plants. Also, human activities such as transplanting plants can aid the spread of insects. 

Winged Aphids- Where Do They Come From? 

The first generation of aphids that emerge from eggs during spring typically have no wings. These wingless ones will continue to grow and feed on host plants. However, you may have noticed some winged varieties in your garden. Where do these winged aphids actually come from?  

Here’s how it works: Aphids can either be monoecious or heteroecious. While monoecious insects only develop on specific species of plants, heteroecious ones can develop and feed on different plant species. They’re also capable of reproducing on the plants they grow on. This allows the development of new generations of insects. Some are even able to reproduce without fertilization from a male. The new aphid produced is typically a female that is a copy of the parents. 

As the aphid generation continues to grow, the sap on the plant they feed on may become depleted due to the growing population. When this happens, subsequent generations that are produced are winged females capable of migrating to new plants. This helps to keep the population of the primary host plant under control. 

After a few generations asexually reproduce this way, new males and females may be produced, in which case sexual reproduction occurs with the female laying eggs on host plants again during fall. This allows their lifecycle to continue again for the following year. 

winged aphid

First-generation aphids are wingless. The winged varieties come after the plants accessible to wingless aphids are depleted, in order to seek new food sources.

©Ed Phillips/Shutterstock.com

Where Do Aphids Come From In Indoor Conditions?

Indoor plants are not free from the scourge of Aphid infestation. They’re a common pest for both indoor and outdoor plants. So how do they get on indoor plants? 

Typically, your plant may end up with an infestation if it already has eggs or larvae before it was brought indoors from outside. The eggs are too tiny to be seen easily, so it is possible to miss them. 

Winged aphids can also fly in from outside through an open window or be brought in by the wind. People can also bring them in by accident. For instance, if your outdoor garden is heavily infested, some of these insects can get stuck on your clothes or shoes while you’re working in the garden, and this can get transported to your indoor garden when you go there. 

Once they get on a new host plant, aphids reproduce very quickly, and before you know it, you have a massive infestation on your hand. However, aphids have a short lifespan of just 25 days. While a single female can give birth to up to 80 young insects within that time, their short lifespan makes it a bit easy to control their population. 

Where Do Aphids Come From In The Spring?

As earlier explained, the reason for the boom in the aphid population during spring is due to the seasonal nature of their life cycle. Many species lay their eggs at the beginning of fall. These eggs typically hatch when spring arrives. Thus you might not notice any live aphids during the winter at all because their eggs and larvae stay hidden. Then suddenly, the young ones begin to emerge in their numbers during the spring season. 

In most species, all the eggs that hatch in spring grow into adult females. These females will not lay eggs, but they can give birth to live young. Since there are no males, the females undergo asexual reproduction to produce new young females. 


Regardless of how your plants developed an infestation, getting rid of these insects as soon as you notice an infestation is very important. These insects can cause significant damage to plants. Aphid populations can grow quickly, and they can also spread from one plant to the other through different means. Fortunately, it is possible to get rid of them using natural enemies such as ladybugs and lacewings. The larvae of some species of wasps also feed on this insect. Alternative methods of control include the use of neem oil spray and chemical insecticides formulated specifically for insects like this. 


Ladybugs are a natural predator to aphids, making them a great option for pest control that doesn’t involve harmful chemicals.

©Guste L/Shutterstock.com

Up Next

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What Do Aphids Eat? – Want to know if your garden plant is on the aphid’s menu? Read this to learn about the diet of this notorious pest.

Where do bed bugs come from? – Bed bug infestations are a serious problem because they can be difficult to get rid of. Here’s all you need to know about where they come from.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © schankz/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Abdulmumin is a pharmacist and a top-rated content writer who can pretty much write on anything that can be researched on the internet. However, he particularly enjoys writing about animals, nature, and health. He loves animals, especially horses, and would love to have one someday.

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