Aphids and Favas
My favas were completely destroyed by aphids this year. Despite hosing them off the plants weekly and several soap sprays they overwhelmed the plants and even the bean pods themselves. When I pulled most of them out this weekend the soil was so dense with aphids it literally looked like the ground was moving. There is finally a population of lacewings, soldier bugs? (orange head/black body), and even one ladybug feasting on them but much too late.
They were growing in a raised bed, I grow them every year without ever having trouble like this. I don't use any pesticides in the garden, rarely use even a soap spray as I'm too lazy. The aphids were black and looked similar in appearance to ones that periodically attack a cherry tree I have at the other end of the yard.
Is this unusual? Should I leave a few plants standing to provide food for the predators? Any harm in putting the aphid covered plants in the compost?