need help finding humr safe insecticide for petunias with APHIDS

irisheyesaresmilin(02814RI)April 18, 2008


APHIDS How I despise them--every year I hang 15 hanging pots of wave Petunias 1. The hummers and I love them equally and 2 they put on a glorious show all year long. Last Year in July or August, I noticed a full INVASION of these wee vampiere bugs - well they basicallt killed every Petunia that I bought ....I used an insecticidal soap and let them dry before re-hangine them.

I do NOT want a repeat of that this year- someone told me totry a systemic treatment.... you generally use it once every 6 weeks - some once a year......

My number one question is is it safe for the hummers if it's safe for bees and fruit trees, etc.....most bottles(products) will have warnings, etc...some include toxicity to birds and bees...I realize those are out-

Is ANYONE aware of a hummer safe product that is RUTHLESS to aphids? Pretty please ???

I will not jeopardize my beloved hummers........

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Don't use any systemic insecticides as they are taken up by the plant and incorporated into every tissue...and yes, that means the nectar. You can easily get rid of them by simply spritzing with isopropyl alcohol for a non-insecticide method. Keeping up with them is the problem though. However, if you are diligent, checking the plants every other day or so, you should be able to take care of them with non-toxic methods. You could also try a product called neem oil. It acts to smoother the insects and killing them but it is natural as it is taken from the seeds of the neem tree.


    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 9:48PM
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I even have Neem Oil here in the house from a trip to Logee's greenhouses- I was unaware that it would treat Aphids- is it really efficient??? I had no idea....

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 10:01PM
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Hi;- The easiest solution I prefer in dealing with aphids is to let my plant dry out until I see the soil starting to separate from the pot. I will then hose the plant thoroughly with water while watering the plant at the same time and repeat if necessary. Often, the colonies of this pest appear primarily on the new growth so pinching the new growth back also helps. What ever aphids are left the hummers will appreciate. ;-]

Another natural foe, Green lacewings have always been good for me. My garden is abundant with them!

Good Luck!

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 11:05PM
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Unfortunately there were-literally MILLIONS of them on each plant and it grossed me out so bad I threw them on the fire...... SHUDDER

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 9:54AM
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Yes, fire does kill aphids. I doubt you'll have an issue with them on that particular plant again. However, if you actually want to keep the plants in the future... =)

A good blast with the hose will knock them off, and then they can't find their way back up to the plant again and will die. Even colonies like you described can be handled effectively in this way, and it beats pesticides or destroying the plant. I've also heard of some people who buy and release ladybugs in their yard, although I haven't tried this myself. But these pests are so easily handled that a pesticide is really an unnecessary step. As you say, why risk harming the hummers (or yourself and your family/pets, for that matter!)?

Incidentally, anyone know if hummers eat aphids?

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 10:39AM
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Lady Bugs do seem to help with the aphids. I put a small tub out on monday, and they are still hanging around. I found that letting them out in the cool eve rather than warm day, they tend to spread out at a slower pace. As long as they have some access to water, they will hang around the garden if there is something to eat. Most non-chain garden stores carry them this time of year. Thanks for the tip on spraying them with water -

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 12:16PM
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I went to the garden shop again today - He insists this is safe for ALL pollinators; hummers, bees etc....

1 Tablespoon Ivory liquid soap
1 Teaspoon Vinegar
1 Gallon of warm water(tepid)
spray plant entirely - also drench the soil- it will kill off the ones that attack the root system as well.........

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 1:42PM
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Ditto on ladybugs. Last year I had this subrotunda plant that was shriveling up and appeared to be dying. I noticed it had a lot of aphids on it and just when I was about to pull it up I noticed a single ladybug and I had heard stories of what they can do so I left along for a few days. It was fun watching the ladybug doing her magic over and under the leave she went busy busy busy and do you know that plant turned out to be the largest plant in my garden.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 2:27PM
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hmmmmmmmmm Well I am ALWAYS for Mamma Nature doing the job that she does best- Looks like it's time to look into purchasing more ladybugs, then Thanks Guys! (and Gals of course too)

I can always count on you!

Thanks again!

    Bookmark   April 19, 2008 at 2:36PM
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I have had success using bio control methods for mites but I have not tried one for aphids. Look at the product section in link below for information on the various bio control insects available and then look for a local retailer. Insecticides made with pyrethrins from Chrysanthemum flowers is another good environmentally friendly household insecticide and they can be purchased at the hardware or home store.


Here is a link that might be useful: Bio Best Canada

    Bookmark   April 20, 2008 at 6:37PM
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