Are Aphids Harmful to Humans? – Ultimate Guide

Aphids are small insects that no one wants to have on their plants because aphids feed on plant sap and can cause a lot of damage to plants. Many people always wonder: Are aphids harmful to humans? Are aphids harmful to pets? Or Can aphids bite humans?  The quick answer is that aphids cannot harm humans and animals but, in this article, we explain why and how to eliminate aphids.

Aphids cannot harm humans and pets, but they can do a lot of damage to plants in the garden. It is very important to control aphids because they can end up killing the plant that is affected by aphids.

Are Aphids Harmful to Humans?

Are Aphids Harmful to Humans? Aphids cannot harm humans because their mouthparts are designed only to pierce plant tissue. With their mouthparts, aphids can only pierce the plant tissue of plants to obtain the sap they use for feeding.

Aphids also do not possess any toxic or pathogenic agents, so aphids are not harmful to humans. Aphids can be very harmful to crops if they are not controlled in time. Nobody wants aphids in their garden.

In summary, aphids cannot harm humans because they only feed on plant sap. Biologically, the aphid’s mouth is not designed to pierce human skin, they can only pierce plants to suck sap. These are some species of aphids:

  • Wooly aphids
  • Lettuce aphids
  • Broccoli aphids
  • Black aphids
  • Yellow aphids
  • Black cherry aphids
  • Oleander aphids
are aphids harmful to humans
Are Aphids Harmful to Humans? Aphids are not harmful to humans. It is not possible for an aphid to bite a human because its mouth is designed only to suck sap from plants.

Are Aphids Harmful to Pets?

Are Aphids Harmful to Pets? Aphids cannot harm pets or humans because they only feed on the sap of plants. As mentioned above, aphids’ mouthparts are only designed to pierce the plants to obtain the sap.

Neither can aphids live in the fur of pets, if an aphid from the garden gets on your pet’s fur the aphid will die in a short time because it will have no sap to feed on and will not be able to harm your pet.

There is no need to worry because aphids cannot harm dogs, cats, or any other type of pet. Aphids only feed on the sap of plants.

Can Aphids Bite Humans? 

Can Aphids Bite Humans? Aphids definitely cannot bite humans because their mouths are only prepared to feed on the sap of plants. If you are bitten by an insect in the garden, it will not be an aphid. Several garden insects can bite humans, and they are the following:

  • Spiders
  • Bees
  • Ticks
  • Wasps
  • Ants
  • Thrips

So don’t worry that you will never be bitten by an aphid.

can aphids bite humans
Can Aphids Bite Humans? Aphids cannot bite humans or pets; their mouthparts only allow them to suck sap from plants.

Can Aphids Cause Skin Irritation?

Can Aphids Cause Skin Irritation? Some people have mild allergic skin reactions when in contact with aphids, but these are very rare cases. You can use gloves to handle plants if you have aphids on your plants.

In case of allergic skin reaction due to contact with aphids, you can apply some aloe vera cream or gel on your skin. The symptoms will disappear in 1 to 2 days.

Can Aphids Live in Human Hair?

Can Aphids Live in Human Hair? Aphids cannot live on human hair, only lice can live on human hair. As mentioned above, aphids feed on the sap of plants, so they cannot survive on the head of a human or the fur of an animal.

An aphid may fall on your head when you are in the garden, but it will not survive because it will not have food. Aphids can fly, so it is not uncommon to find an aphid on your clothes or body while in the garden. Remember that aphids cannot bite and harm humans.

can aphids live in human hair
Can Aphids Live in Human Hair? Aphids cannot live on human hair or the head. Having no food to feed on, the aphid will die.

How to Identify Aphids

There are more than 3,000 species of aphids, many of them very common on both outdoor and indoor plants. There are polyphagous species, which attack many plants, and others that are specific to a particular plant or crop. Aphids can be black, yellow, green, orange, etc., with a size of 1 to 3 mm.

The legs of aphids are long and slender, pear-shaped, have two siphons (at the end of the abdomen) at the rear, and their antennae are moderately long. Aphids have sucked, stinging mouthparts that are used to suck aphids into the cells of plant leaves.

Aphids are very well adapted to act as an almost perfect pest, among other things they can change their way of reproduction, they can make it sexual or asexual. Here are some images of the aphids so that you can identify them more easily

How to Get Rid of Aphids

There are several ways to get rid of aphids, I always prefer the organic ways and do not use chemical insecticides to eliminate aphids. For example, lacewings and ladybugs are natural predators of aphids, feeding on both aphid larvae and adult aphids. In an article from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, they explain how they were able to get rid of aphids with lacewings.

You should also use neem oil to get rid of aphids, neem oil is safe and organic for your garden. The important thing is to mix the neem oil well to distribute it correctly throughout the plant affected by aphids. I recommend our article on how to use neem oil on tomato plants.

Another way to eliminate aphids from plants is to use diatomaceous earth. Diatomaceous earth acts by contact with the aphids and eliminates them in a few days. It is of organic origin and 100% safe to use in the garden. Just spread a little diatomaceous earth where you observe the aphids. I recommend not to place the diatomaceous earth on flowers so as not to affect pollinating insects such as bees.

As aphids feed on the plant, they weaken the plant and can cause other plant diseases, so it is important to eliminate aphids as quickly as possible. Aphids can attract other insects such as ants, aphids secrete honeydew, and ants are attracted to honeydew. That is why, if you do not eliminate aphids from the plants, you will also have to get rid of ants from the plants.

In this video, you can see how ants feed on the honeydew of aphids.
how to get rid of aphids
How to Get Rid of Aphids? Ladybugs are one of the natural predators of aphids. In the picture, you can see a ladybug feeding on aphids.

Final Conclusions

Aphids definitely cannot harm humans or even pets. The aphid’s mouth is biologically designed only to feed on plant sap and nothing else. Then don’t worry because you won’t be bitten by an aphid.

But I do recommend that you get rid of the aphids on your plants as soon as possible so that your plants do not die, or the aphids bring other pests and diseases to the plants.

I hope this article is helpful and you no longer have to worry about an aphid biting you or someone in your family. Enjoy your garden.

About Henry Morgan

We are the Morgan family, Henry, and Julia, both agronomists from the University of Michigan, where we met. We are experts in putting our hands in the soil and developing organic foods and improving production processes for decades. Likewise, we have worked for companies such as Mondelez International, BASF, Monsanto, etc. currently in our role as science writers for TheGardenStyle.com as well as advisors in promoting large scale food growing in urbanized areas. In this website, we share what we are most passionate about, gardening and farming. Enjoy and see real photos on our website.