Aphids and Favas

ck36March 31, 2013

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?

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Those black aphids are nasty and harder to get rid of than the green ones who are wimps in comparison. They ruined my broccoli-rabe one year. Might be that because we had so little rain the baddie population got the chance to quickly explode. The predators always lag the prey. That's nature.

I get them on my succulent flowers and get rid of them by spraying with rubbing alcohol, though you could try vodka on edibles, wait a few minutes then wash off the plants.

If your compost is covered they can die in there, otherwise I'd worry about them going elsewhere for more food and destruction. :(

    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 6:42PM
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I'm battling orange aphids here, they just keep coming back! The ladybugs I bought fled the next day and abandoned me to battle with the hose and the soapy water. I've never had them before, this is awful it must be a bad year for them. Ugh!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 12:31AM
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