What are these little black bugs in my Chives, Welsh and Spring onions? They don't seem to be eating anything, they are clustered around the base and a short way up some of the stems.

enter image description here

enter image description here

6 Answers 6


I really can't tell much from the picture. However insects are quite purposeful. If they are on your plants they are not there for a vacation. The most likely candidate are aphids who come in many colours.

Try a spray of soap and water at 5 ml/litre. Spray and leave on for a few minutes then rinse with water.

If they don't come back, job done!

  • 2
    I agree with Kevinsky! Unless you are able to send more pictures and closeups of the actual insects we will not be able to help much. But those are almost definitely aphids...a gray aphid, very common and easy to control. Try the soap. If that doesn't work, well, ask again!
    – stormy
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 2:24
  • I tried the soap water mix and about half of them (mainly the larger ones) fell off straight away. The small ones remained and did not move. I ended up uprooting the plants and washed them in a bucket of water to remove the rest. Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 7:33
  • It's hard to get a clear shot of them, i have added the best one i could take. Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 7:41

They're onion aphids. They infest my green onions, and garlic. Although visible on the green garlic shoots, they get into the bulb. I've even found them inside garlic imported from overseas.

Just keep washing them off with water. But I find that they keep coming back if the plants are in anyway weakened by non-perfect growing conditions.

How to control onion aphids in aquaponics?


I've used Nemasys for fruit and veg. They are little worms and should be added to water when watering. Hope it will work. It worked on slugs in my courgette before and it is organic.


Their Black aphids. Mostly harmless. Can weaken plant. A touch of organic baking soda based home made spray with a drop or two of dish soap would eliminate them.


I have similar on my onions, chives and leek and they appear to be small black aphids - i used soap and water to good effect.


I woke up to find my chive plant (which has thrived for many years without any bugs) infested with these aphids! When I say infested I’m talking what looked to be like millions... I tried spraying them with a mixture of water baking soda and dish soap and it really did nothing- of course hosing them down didn’t work either- I had to cut down the plant completely. The base and all the soil around the base were covered...Deep at the base I found what seem to be like the queen bigger red ones I’m not sure if they something that looks like an exact but I found one of those too... these bags will stick all over you if you try to clean them up..I put gloves on and cut the plant completely down...After that there are still hundreds of survivors if not thousands that started going to my neighboring spinach plants and everywhere else they could... it was a mess!

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.